Stand behind yer sheriff Circulation: 97,878,627 Issue: 186 | 15th day of Eating, Y7
Home | Archives Articles | Editorial | Short Stories | Comics | New Series | Continued Series

Cafeteria Chaos: Part Three

by shadih_temporary


"Rats!" the Elephante yelled when the potion jar hit the wall and broke. "I'll clean 'dat up later. Anyway, girl, you know it takes a while for the potion to actually mix with the food! Several hours, at 'dat!"

      The Bruce nodded. "Well, the stew's done cooking. We can just leave it on the stove."

      "Mm hmm," the Elephante agreed. "Let's beat it."

      The Elephante turned the stove off and grabbed her purse off of a nearby counter. The two lunch ladies departed the area, heading for the very back of the kitchen. Jean suddenly hopped off the floor and ran towards the stew. Without thinking, she grabbed the pot with both hands, but only to be burned badly.

      "Eep!" Jean squealed softly.

      She blew on her hands for a few seconds, and then glared at the pot of stew. She then spun around and ran to the counter where she ripped the drawers out, looking for an oven mitt. Finally, Jean found a pair of light blue oven mitts, and placed them on her hands. After doing so, Jean grabbed both sides of the pot of stew, and tilted it over. The reddish stew flowed out of the huge, rusty pot and onto the kitchen floor, very mush resembling a waterfall.

      But as the last few drops of stew exited the pot, a soup ladle slid out of the pot and headed for the ground. Jean gasped and winced as the ladle clanked very loudly against the floor, sending an echo throughout the entire kitchen.

      "Oh no," Jean whispered, eyes darting around the room, looking for any signs of a cafeteria employee to come rushing in.

      Five minutes went by, and no one came to see what the sound was.

      "Hmm… that's odd…" Jean said to herself. "Where are those two lunch ladies? They couldn't have left the building… because they'd have to cut through this room to get out of the kitchen."

      Jean eyed the doorway that led to the back of the kitchen. It was very close to being pitch black in there, but Jean decided to enter the room anyway. Inside, only one of the many fluorescent lights in the room was turned on, and it was flickering. The light shined down on the counter where Jean first met the Elephante and Bruce. And what Jean saw then and there completely amazed her.

      The Bruce stood in front of the counter, watching the Elephante atop the counter. The Elephante was standing on a chair, and was pushing the same ceiling tile from before to the side.

      "Need some help?" the Bruce took a step forward.

      "No, I gots it," the Elephante replied, grunting.

      "All right," the Bruce shrugged and turned around to face the doorway Jean was standing in. She gasped at the sight of the Blue Wocky.

      "Oh my…" the Bruce stared with wide-eyes.

      "What is it?" the Elephante looked at the doorway, as well. "Hey! It's 'dat crazy Wocky from before!"

      Jean could only gulp.

      The Elephante hopped off of the chair and onto the floor beside the Bruce. "What in the world is you doing here?!"

      Jean crossed her arms. It was time she stopped being afraid. What could a fat Bruce and Elephante do to her anyway? "I demand to know why you put Transmogrification Potions in the food you cook."

      The Elephante stared at Jean for a few seconds, and then bust out laughing. "Oh… oh… 'dat was brilliant! No, I is serious, what you here fo'?"

      "I already told you!" Jean uncrossed her arms and placed them on her hips.

      The Elephante suddenly dashed across the kitchen floor and stood in front of Jean, glaring evilly at her. That Elephante had just now moved faster than anything Jean had ever seen in her whole, entire life! Jean drew back a little, and the Elephante grabbed Jean's shoulders with both of her hands.

      "You think I'd tell you?!" the Elephante literally screamed in Jean's face.

      Jean tried her best to push the Elephante away, but she couldn't. All she could do was shut her eyes tightly and look away.

      "Remember, Jean," the Elephante grinned evilly. "As to what lies within."

      The Elephante then took her hands off of Jean and outstretched it. She pulled back the sleeve of her cafeteria uniform to reveal a small, red button. Under the button in small, black text, "Self-Destruct" was printed. A wide-eyed Jean gasped at the sight of the button, and lunged to the side and behind a food cart. The button attached to the Elephante was pressed, and she exploded.

      It was a rather sudden, quick explosion. Most explosions you'd expect would take 10 or so minutes to finish, but this one ended in a matter of seconds. There was just a small ball of fire that appeared, and the mechanical Elephante robot's parts and bits of glass flew across the room.

      A robot. Jean thought. My gosh, she was a robot.

      Jean arose from her position behind the cart. She kicked aside a burnt cog and looked around the room for the Bruce. Jean managed to catch a faint glimpse of the Bruce's foot going up into the ceiling, and the ceiling tile being shut behind her. Jean lunged forward, on top of the counter, and then the chair. Luckily, she was tall enough to touch the ceiling, and pushed the ceiling tile out of place. The ceiling tile tilted and fell through the hole it fit into, landing on the counter.

      Jean grabbed hold of the edges around the tile's hole, and pulled herself up and into the ceiling. There was a bit of light up in the ceiling, but it was also extremely hot. It was so hot, that the moment Jean stuck her head in the ceiling, she began sweating and panting like crazy. But, the heat didn't bother her at the moment. It was the sight she saw that really disturbed her.

      There, in the corner of the room, lay about six lunch lady robots. Each had blank expressions, signaling that they had been shut down for the time being. Even if they were just robots, it wasn't the most pleasing thing in the world to see. Jean stood up on the very flimsy floor and gagged at the sight. That was when she saw the Bruce. She was standing in the opposite corner, staring at Jean.

      "Hi," Jean said, feeling stupid.

      "Don't come any closer," the Bruce backed up an inch.

      Jean lifted her hands. "Don't worry, I'm not here to harm you."

      "Then why are you here?" the Bruce examined Jean.

      Jean stood up straight. "Oh… um, you know why."

      The Bruce sat down in the corner and sighed. "Yes, I do know. Trust me, you don't want to know why we put the Transmogrification Potion in the food. You really, really don't. Just don't eat the food, and you'll be safe."

      "Yes ma'am, I do want to know," Jean arched an eyebrow.

      The Bruce sighed once more. "Okay, okay. Just… promise me that you'll keep this under your hat."

      "I promise," Jean nodded.

      "Okay," said the Bruce. "I… and the other seven lunch ladies… work for a man named Dr. Sloth,"

      Jean gasped and brought her hand to her mouth. "Holy Kau! This whole scheme is about Dr. Sloth?!"

      The Bruce nodded. "Indeed. The doctor was running out of followers, so he decided to make some. He wanted them young, so that he could train them at a very early age. His remaining followers managed to create seven lunch lady robots that were to be sent to this school. The robots were told very clearly to poison the students here. And they've done that. There's no stopping it, now,"

      "Wow… that's awful," Jean blinked. "But… what I don't understand is… those robots in the corner over there plus the Elephante that self-destructed makes seven robots. What about you? Don't you work for Sloth, too?"

      "Yes, I do work for Sloth," the Bruce sighed. "But, I'm not a robot. I was abducted by a pack of Mutant Grundos two years ago and taken to Sloth's lair. I only volunteered to take part in this scheme because I hadn't seen Neopian soil in so, so long."

      "Hey, you don't have to work for Sloth," Jean smiled. "We can work together, but not to mutate kids. To stop this."

      "You don't understand," the Bruce said. "Sloth is watching us as we speak. He has cameras up all around the school. But they're very, very small. Impossible to see with the naked eye,"

      "Who cares?!" Jean exclaimed. "He can't do anything to us from all the way up in space!"

      The Bruce sat back and thought for a moment. "Hmm… you have a point, there. What did you say your name was, again?"

      "Jean," said Jean.

      "Ah. And I am Miranda," the Bruce smiled. "Nice to meet you, Jean."

      "Nice to meet you, too," Jean replied.

      The Bruce stood up and brushed dust and debris off of her cafeteria uniform.

      "Now, Miranda," Jean said, eying the robots in the opposite corner. "Before the Elephante self-destructed, she said "Remember, Jean, as to what lies within." What in the world did she mean by that?"

      Miranda shrugged. "Honestly, I have no clue."

      "Hmm…" Jean thought. "Wait a second… when the Elephante exploded, bits and pieces of glass flew everywhere."

      "So…?" Miranda arched an eyebrow.

      "Think of the Transmogrification Potions!" Jean exclaimed. "They're made of glass! This is only a guess, but I think the Transmogrification Potions are hidden inside of the robots! If we destroy the robots, we destroy the potions. And Sloth's plan will be ruined!"

      "I like the idea," Miranda said. "But, why are you 100 percent sure that the potions are in the robots."

      But by the time Miranda was done speaking, Jean was kneeling down beside a Lupe robot, searching its arm for a self-destruct button.

      "Jean, you aren't really going to go through with this, are you?!" Miranda took a step towards Jean.

      But it was too late. Jean had found the small, red button that could blow this robot to bits. She pushed her paw down on the button, and hopped back, rolling across the floor towards the corner where the Bruce stood.

      Suddenly, the Lupe Robot exploded. Bits and pieces of mechanical devices were flung across the room as a torrent of flames engulfed the robot. The explosion caused a chain reaction, setting fire to the other five robots. They, too, exploded, one by one. The heat in the room flew up by several degrees. Small cracks began to appear in the center of the floor.

      "Oh no!" Miranda screamed.

      The room began to tremble dangerously.

      "What is it?! What's going on?!" Jean cried.

      "The floor!" Miranda cried back. "It's caving in!"

      And all Jean could do as the floor beneath them collapsed was cling to the wall behind her, her claws digging deep into the plaster. Seeing the flimsy wood of the floor sucked down into the kitchen was like watching an hourglass. Eventually, everything had gone down a hole in the center of the room, just like how the sand in the hourglass falls through a hole and into the glass below it.

      Eventually, Jean couldn't hold on to the wall, and let herself go. She landed on the floor, and then found herself falling, seeing as how she broke right through the floor. Jean landed on the kitchen floor, right next to the counter. Bits and pieces of the ceiling were landing all around her. She had to get out of that kitchen, and fast. But she wasn't going anywhere until she found Miranda.

      "Miranda?!" Jean cried.

      "Jean, c'mon!" Jean heard Miranda calling to her.

      Jean looked all around the room, and finally spotted Miranda standing by the doorway leading into the stove and oven room.

      "Hurry!" Miranda was motioning for Jean to come.

      Jean grunted and lifted her arms above her head in order to protect herself. She hopped over fallen debris and tore through the room, until finally, she made it. Jean lunged forward into the stove and oven room just as the last of the ceiling buried the previous room.

      "We'd better get out of this kitchen entirely," Jean suggested.

      But it didn't matter. Miranda had already begun running out of the stove and oven room. Jean hopped up and ran after her, panting madly. Eventually, Jean was out of the kitchen and in the cafeteria. Light shining through the windows told her that it was morning. She had been at school all night long.

      Miranda was sitting on the stage, kicking her feet at the air. "Guess what, Jean?" she said.

      Jean approached Miranda slowly, still a bit shaken. "What?"

      "It's over," Miranda sighed. "You don't have to worry about us trying to turn the pets here into mutants."

      "If it's over, then why do you seem so depressed?" Jean sat on the stage beside Miranda.

      "Well…" Miranda began. "I've decided to remain a follower of Sloth."

      "What?!" Jean was completely shocked. "But… why?!"

      "When the Grundos captured me and took me to Sloth, they destroyed my home," Miranda stared off into space. "Everything I had ever worked for… was gone. I knew that if I ever left Sloth, I would have nothing. At least as one of Sloth's minions, I could have a home, friends, and a life.

      Jean nodded. "I totally understand, Miranda. Just, don't forget about your friends on Neopia, too.

      Miranda smiled at Jean. "Believe me, Jean. There's no way that I could possibly ever forget you."

      Without any second thoughts, Jean reached forward and hugged Miranda. "I'll miss ya."

      "I'll miss you, too, Jean. But, yea, I have to go back home."

      "See ya around, in that case."

      Miranda hopped off of the stage. "Bye."

      The two waved goodbye to one another, and Miranda departed the cafeteria. Jean managed to hear the sound of Miranda's footsteps all the way down the hall, but they soon faded away. By this time, the sun had risen completely. Jean suspected it to be around 7:30 PM.

      She, too, hopped off the stage and walked solemnly out of the cafeteria. Students would be arriving soon. But, she didn't feel like waiting around for them. She probably wouldn't even be going to school today, not after what she just experienced.

      Jean rubbed her eyes sleepily and yawned, pushing open the front doors to the school. She walked outside and onto the grass covered in dew. Jean approached her bicycle and grabbed her helmet off of the ground, hopping onto the bike. She was just about to take off homeward bound, when she noticed something.

      Gav and Ave's bicycles remained parked by Jean's. Jean stared in horror at the bicycles, and then turned to look at her school.

      It wasn't over. And she knew it.

The End

Search the Neopian Times

Other Episodes

» Cafeteria Chaos: Part One
» Cafeteria Chaos - Part Two

Week 186 Related Links

Other Stories


A Change of Tune
It had been like this as long as anyone could remember. From the first day, Fiol had her corner where she sat all day. No one talked to her, and she didn't talk to anyone. From that first day, the groups formed and she was the outsider.

by shadowcristal


Dining with Skarl
That's why no one hears about dung in Brightvale. :P

by kushbi

Submit your stories, articles, and comics using the new submission form.