PPLease Be Kind To Petpets: Part Two
"Are you ready to….EAT?” the announcer called.
“YES!!” the fans cheered back.
“Alllllrighty then, I give you… the hungriest, the baddest, biggest mutant chia there’s ever been….FLOOOORG.”
An immense Mutant Chia tottered on to the platform, waving its paw to the crowd. “FLORG.” He announced in a monotone, as if to introduce himself. “FLORG HUNGRY.”
The crowd’s applause for the arrival of their hero was masked by a large clanging sound overhead. Amity looked up to see the cage, now full of terrified looking petpets, wobbling slightly on its chain as it was lowered onto the platform.
“This is our cue.” Amity said, and he pulled himself onto the platform with January at his heels. Horatia and Ralph followed less enthusiastically.
At once, the crowd was shocked into silence. Evidently, no one interrupted Florg at dinnertime.
“Err… What are you doing?” the voice over the speaker asked, sounding markedly less enthused than before. A slight screeching sound was heard as the metallic cage paused its descent.
“I’m Amity, and we are the PPL field team.” Amity, strutting up to where a confused looking Florg was sitting.
“Yeah, we’re the PPLEASE force!” January interrupted excitedly. Horatia put a paw to her forehead, and exchanged a look with Ralph.
“It’s time you put an end to this Florg.” Amity said decisively, standing on his tiptoes to appear taller. He still only came up to Florg’s shoulder. “You’re meal preferences are barbaric and completely uncalled for in this day and age! Why not try..” he scanned wildly in the crowd. “ an Intergalactic Ice Cream Cone or Planet Pops. There are so many alternatives! You could even try-“
At this, the cage restarted its downward motion, heading closer and closer toward Amity’s head. Ralph extended a paw and hurriedly tugged Amity back to avoid getting hit.
“And I think this is our cue to go! NOW!” Ralph yelled over the sound of the cage lowering. He tried to continue to pull Amity off the platform, but Amity shrugged him off.
The banging noise stopped as the cage landed, and the arena was eerily silent as the door opened. The crowd seemed to be holding its breath as the cage doors opened.
But suddenly, Amity felt a sharp tap on the back, and turned to find a delivery Shoryu holding a dark yellow envelope. “Neomail for you,” the Shoryu informed him briskly and handed it over. The Shoyru quickly flew off, seemingly completely indifferent to the proceedings on the platform.
Amity swiftly tore open the envelope and saw it was from his personal assistant, Ruby. He read quickly as the first petpets stumbled out of the cage.
Come back to the office now. There is a…situation here that I think you might want to address.
The Kacheek furrowed his brow, and gestured to his team. “Come on you all, we have to head back now.” Looking back at Florg, Amity pleaded “Let’s continue this discussion later? Perhaps we could schedule an appointment and you could remain on a more vegetarian diet until then?”
“Florg hunnnnnggggryyy” The immense chia moaned, swiping a large paw at an unfortunate Hasee. It escaped just in time, but a nearby slorg wasn’t so lucky. The fans cheered.
Amity looked on in horror for a second, until January gave his arm a swift tug, and the PPL team was on their way. -------
After the fiasco at the Virtupets Station, Amity though it couldn’t get any worse. He was wrong.
The team arrived back at the office to find total pandemonium.
Crumpled papers littered the floor, chairs were overturned, and the PPL members that Amity left at the office seemed to be in a very large argument.
“DLFDKFSJLF the Maractite Blurgah is 35 seconds older than Twinkletoes!” a Pteri screeched.
“Excuse ME, but your calculations are off by about 6 minutes. Don’t you dare kick Twinkletoes off that list.” a yellow Poogle snarled back at him, grabbing the list from the Pteri’s wings.
“We have an urgent call in from Meridell!” someone called from across the room. “Fido the Maractite Blurgah has just been painted black!”
At this, a Scorpio across the room wrinkled up us papers and threw it across the room in disgust. It knocked a lamp shade askew before hitting the paper-laden floor. “There goes 1 hour of calculations.
Amity starred open mouthed at the crazed pets surrounding him. As he started to regain the powers of speech, Ruby came up to him, the only one seemingly uninvolved in the chaos.
“This is why you should have left Horatia back with us—these pets can’t add 2 Neopoints together, let alone petpet ages.” She said, giving Amity a condescending glare. “But as interesting as this little mischief is, this actually wasn’t why I called you back.”
“Not why” Amity stuttered. He glanced around the room, noticing a speckled Pteri knocking over a tray of mints, and a Lutari ripping up a calendar. He ducked as the Month of Celebrating missed his head by inches. “What could be worse than the whole office getting demolished?”
“The mob outside,” Ruby said unflappably. “Apparently you didn’t consider how many Neopets make a profit off of Extreme Herder before you shut Samrin down? Samrin deliberately refuses to fix his fence, and pets play this game where they can make Neopoints based on how many petpets he can save. Oh, and I have started to get calls from the Florg fan club already, they are not happy that you are cutting off his food supply. They aren’t here protesting yet, but I assume they’ll arrive shortly.”
“Neopets make a profit off of watching a lupe eat petpets? And treating feeding Florg like a spectator sport? Next you’re going to tell me that pets willingly take the petpets to Turmaculus.”
“This Kacheek has been living under a rock his whole life” Ruby muttered as she guided Amity to see the scene outside.
A large crowd of neopets was gathered in front of the PPL headquarters. They were a diverse bunch, from faerie Uni to mutant Chia, but they all had one thing in common: each was incredibly angry. The crowd roared as Amity timidly stuck his head out the door of the PPL. Immediately, they started shouting out to him.
“I was saving for new Neohome furniture with the Neopoints I make from Samrin’s Extreme Herding!” wailed a silver Uni. “Now all I can afford is the Dung Furniture Set!”
“I was this close to getting the Extreme Herder avatar. And what am I without that? Nothing. NOTHING!” another pet screamed from the middle of the mob.
“What’s an avatar?” January whispered to Horatia, from their place inside as they watched from the windows.
Horatia shrugged, “Must be some gamer thing,” she told her, and the two return to watching the mob.
“Grey feepits for the PPL award!” a familiar Tonu called out from the crowd. Startled, Amity turned to see Ralph from his office had joined the swelling mass of pets. Now my staff is starting to mutiny, Amity thought despairingly.
The mob continued to call out their thoughts on PPL’s new direction to Amity, who was worriedly scanning the crowd, his upper lip trembling. But soon enough, the crowd starting working together and formed a chant. It started quietly, with just a few Rukis near the back of the crowd, but eventually, everyone was yelling it.
“Resign, resign, RESIGN, RESIGN!” The mob called to Amity.
“Wait, you don’t understand! “ Amity called to the crowd. No one could hear him over the chant. “I am trying to help petpets? Isn’t that what really matters?”
A new chant started up from the back of the crowd. “Give Florg his food! Give Florg his food!” they screamed. Evidently the Florg Fan Club had arrived.
Amity took a deep breath, and made up his mind. Just then, Ruby came to his side, and produced a microphone.
“We had a couple of these lying around from our last office karaoke night. Figure you could use one.” Ruby told to Amity. Ruby surveyed the angry crowd, and looked back at Amity as if seeing him in a new light. “Hang in there, buddy.” She said with uncharacteristic kindness. She gave him a pat on the back, and stayed by his side.
Looking slightly more self-assured, Amity turned on the microphone and said. “Enough!” The crowd quieted, curious as to what the PPL director had to say. “Since it is clear to me that I am not wanted here, I will step down.” A cheer arose from the pets. “But first, I ask you for a few simple things. Be nice to petpets. Avoid the petpet lab ray. Support the Warf rescue team and their efforts. Feed a Kadoatie. But above, all just treat them with respect. You can start today, by giving your own petpet a hug.”
The crowd was silent for a moment as they considered this.
“I sent my petpet off to Grave Danger, should I just hug it if it gets back?” A Blumaroo near the front asked. Amity winced.
“My petpet got eaten by Turmaculus today,” another pet bragged. “AND, I got the avatar!” The surrounding pets oohed appreciatively.
Amity threw his hands up and turned to Ruby. “I guess some pets never learn.”
Ruby smiled at him, though her eyes looked sad. “Oh Amity, as much as I have enjoyed teasing you today, it’s no fun when you are this upset. Listen to your own annoying positive attitude and focus on helping one petpet at a time.”
“Yeah Amity,” January had come outside to join them, now that the yelling had ceased and the crowd was slowly dispersing. “There is a lot you can do, even outside of the PPL. With someone as kind as you, I know you’ll get things done. Keep your chin up!”
Amity gave them a tremulous smile. “Thank you.” He looked up at the PPL building before him with an air of finality, and then turned back to his two former staff members. “It was nice meeting you both,” he said sincerely. “Please pass along my regards to the rest of the office and the field team especially. I think I’ll be heading off; excuse me for not wanting to stick around.”
And with that Amity left PPL forever, in what was surely the shortest tenure for a PPL director in history.
Epilogue: Where are they now?
After Amity’s disgraceful departure, the gregarious Ralph was selected as the new director of PPL. His first order of business was to select the Grey Feepit for the upcoming PPL award. Unfortunately, as that would mean his own Grey Feepit, Flopsy, would be one of the winners, this motion was soon struck down due to conflict of interests.
Ruby still works at PPL too. She’ll never tell anyone this, but she rather misses Amity.
January has since left the PPL. Because of Amity, she found she had a great passion for helping the struggling and underrepresented. She has started at a support group for the “non-winners” of Neopia- those who suffer frequent defeats at the scratch card kiosk, always receive Tombola booby prizes, or lose it all at the Poogle races. If you or someone you know would be interested in joining January’s support group, meetings will be held at 4:01am NST, conveniently after the daily Neopian Lottery announcement.
As for Amity, he is currently unemployed, spending all of his time writing angry editorials to the Neopian Times about the poor treatment of petpets and the failure of the PPL to address these issues. As of this writing date, none of his letters have been published.
In other unrelated news, PPL is a proud sponsor of the Neopian Times, earning the “Gold Sponsor” status for its frequent monetary donations. The Neopian Times wishes to thank the PPL for its continued support.