The Asparagus Chia: The Coltzan Case - Part One
Somewhere, at a not-so-secret hideout in the Deserted
Fair ground, lives a Chia like no other. Ordinary green Chia by day, an asparagus-wielding,
crime-fighting action hero by night. He is the one and only Asparagus Chia!
Brian Merlute sat at his desk, chewing the end
of his Bendy Pencil. 'Dear Chubbs' he wrote. Just as quickly, he erased it.
How could I possibly explain to Chubbs why
I'm missing his birthday Cheat! game, Brian wondered. Aha! I've got
the perfect excuse!
'To my Dearest friend (I mean you, Chubbs),'
Brian wrote, slowly and deliberately. 'I'm afraid I cannot go to your birthday
Cheat! game, because my Doglefox ate my homework.'
No, no, that can't be right, thought
Brian, and erased the bit about the Doglefox eating his homework. 'I cannot
go to your birthday Cheat! game, because of my present circumstances.' "That
sounds about right," Brian murmured to himself. "But maybe I better explain
what circumstances I'm in." He lowered the tip of his pencil to the paper once
again, and wrote 'To my utmost regret, these circumstances will not allow me
to go to your Cheat! game, although I dearly wish I could. I am extremely sorry,
but I hope you can enjoy yourself in my absence. Signed, Brian Merlute.' After
signing his name with an elegant flourish, Brian looked over his neatly written
letter for spelling errors, and satisfied that there were none, sealed it inside
a beige envelope, and stuck on a Rotting Skeleton 20 NP stamp, with licking
assistance from his faithful Flizzardo, Azzer.
"Good boy, Azzer," Brian cooed fondly, rubbing
behind Azzer's ears. Azzer flicked his tongue in and out rapidly while growling
extremely softly, a sign of delight. Brian opened the oak door of his luxurious
reading room, and strode out, his footsteps padding softly on the deep red,
expensive carpet. He walked down the hall, the chandeliers overhead providing
a strong, steady light. Along the walls were numerous portraits of various Neopets,
all spaced evenly, each with an intricate, unique frame. Among the Neopets portrayed
were Sir Cheekalot, Robin Lupe, and in a painting larger than all the others
combined, Sir Fufon Lui, the famous swordschia. Brian strolled out the front
door of his mansion, and closed the huge oak door behind him. He found himself
in a stone corridor roughly twice the size of the average Chia, and walked down
it, finally emerging into the dank air by way of a giant, nasty looking Chia's
mouth, painted in garish colours to resemble a clown laughing. As Brian hopped
into a nearby seemingly derelict old rail cart, he looked over the fangs, noting
that they could do with a bit of a polish. The cart, which was actually reinforced
with triple strength Faerie steel, slowly started rolling along the rails, propelled
by the very same Faerie Dust that powered Bendy Desk Lights.
When Brian had rolled a little way in front of
the strange entrance, he thought to himself how smart he had been to camouflage
his entrance in such a way that everybody would be too scared to go near it.
He smiled to himself, and whistled a jaunty tune as he disembarked from the
cart, and made his way through the Deserted Fairground. He paid no attention
to the ominous noises that emanated from everywhere, knowing that most of them
were actually produced by speakers hidden in the undergrowth, in order to keep
Neopians away. The other sounds, well, Brian just tried not think about what
they could be. In event of some unusually brave Neopian trespassing on his property,
Brian knew that the automated defences would project holograms of ghosts and
monsters. If the trespasser was still not deterred, the defences would revert
to using force, mostly just small stuff like Sparkshooters and Basic Lightning
Beams, but if things got tough, Dark Novas, Portable Kilns, Cardboard Sprout
Cannon, and even Faerie Acorns would be used.
Brian, hopping out of the cart, then walked into
a small graveyard, and made his way to a dull, gray gravestone that rested on
a broad square base. With a look of intense concentration upon his face, Brian
pushed seeming random letters on the gravestone, which read- Maria Kacheek.
A loving sibling and friend. Rest In Peace. With a creak, the gravestone
and its base shifted back, to reveal a square hole just a little smaller than
the gravestone's base. Brian stepped onto a ladder that clung closely to the
tunnel's wall, and after flipping a switch to move the gravestone back over
the hole, descended carefully, taking great care not to miss a rung in the pitch
darkness. Brian finally reached the bottom, and entered a spotlessly clean tiled
chamber. He felt blindly for the light switch, but finally found it, causing
the fluorescent lighting to spring to life, emitting a harsh white glare. Brian
approached a steel chair in the middle of the room, and put on the Transporter
Helmet that was attached to it by wires that would have easily been wider than
five Magtiles. Brian was always cautious in this room, for countless feet beneath
there was a what Brian called his mini power plant. Filled with countless bottles
of Faerie dust, Radioactive Muffins, and Asparagus, the power plant was built
purely for the utilisation of the Transporter Helmet. The Transporter Helmet,
used for transporting only short distances, had been modified by Brian to be
able to take enormous energy, and use it to transport the wearer huge distances.
The power plant was yet another of Brian's creations, after he developed the
specialised Transporter Helmet.
The Asparagus had been one of his greatest strokes
of genius, added to the power plant when Brian had seen an Asparagus Powered
Ray Gun in the Space Weaponry shop. After taking one home and dismantling it,
Brian had figured out how it worked, then used its scientific principles to
use Asparagus as his own personal energy source. This had extended the Transporter
Helmet's ability so much that now it was capable of transporting anywhere in
Neopia, and even to the VirtuPets Space Station. However, in event of an explosion
caused by a malfunction, everything within a double Turmaculus length radius
would be blasted into nothingness. That's the exact reason why Brian kept it
a safe distance away from his mansion. Brian tapped a few coordinates into the
modified Gamma Monitoring console that was welded into the right armrest of
the chair, and in a flash of light, was gone.
Brian materialised behind the Neopian Post Office
in Neopia Central, and slightly dazed, stumbled onto the path. A passing Techo
that cheerfully offered support was thanked profusely, as Brian rested on his
shoulder for a minute or two. When he had recovered, Brian posted the letter,
express delivery no less, and was on his way back home via what Brian had dubbed
his flying suit. Stored in his Green Backpack, it consisted of a green Kougra
Wing Collar, green Jubjub Shoes of Flight, green Scorchio Wing Guards and a
green Invisihat. Of course, all of these items were modified to fit Brian perfectly,
and while the wing guards were motorised, the other items were virtually unchanged.
All in all, Brian's flying suit was capable of lifting weights up to the equivalent
of ten Elephantes, six Tonus and a Strawberry Jelly Chia. Brian fired up all
of the wings, donned the Invisihat so that no one would notice him flying, and
started flying home. Brian thought that the wings, while a lot less efficient
than the Transporter Helmet, were a more relaxing experience, which gave him
a sense of being wonderfully free.
As Brian soared through the clouds, unseen by
anyone, he smiled happily at the experience, but also in his heart worried about
how Chubbs would take the bad news. Brian extremely rarely missed important
sentimental occasions like his best friend's Cheat! Game, and Brian wondered
if Chubbs would be suspicious. He didn't want him to find out about Brian's
nocturnal life as the crime-fighting Asparagus Chia, but he couldn't go the
birthday Cheat! Game in case of emergency missions. Brian sighed inwardly, and
tried to shake the feeling of unhappiness from his heart. But it just wouldn't
go away. Suddenly, the beeper located on Brian's Chia belt starting beeping
loudly, and Brian pulled it off his belt. He read the abbreviated message on
the beeper's screen, and immediately switched his flying suit into maximum overdrive,
for the message read- AC: Def. of Npia now. Important crime info 4 U. ASAP.
JH. When Brian finally arrived home, entered his mansion via the scary Chia
clown mouth, and once inside, took off the flying suit, stuffed it inside the
backpack, and hung it on a nearby coat rack. Then he went into his luxurious
bedroom, and opened his wardrobe. He looked around to make sure no one was watching,
and stepped inside, brushing away the hanging clothes. He fiddled with some
of the clothes hooks for a moment, rotated a seemingly ordinary coat hangar
360 degrees, and the back of the wardrobe slid to one side, revealing an ordinary
room, either side lined with racks of Asparagus weaponry. Brian quickly donned
a green Chia Belt, an Asparagus powered Ray Gun, two Asparagus Daggers, a specially
made face mask, and a Forest Cloak embroidered with the initial AC. He left
the rest of considerable amount of weaponry on the racks, and quickly rushed
out of his mansion to the Transporter Room, where he put on the Transporter
Helmet, tapped in a few coordinates, and was instantly zapped to inside Judge
Hog's office in the Defenders of Neopia Building.
"Citizen, do you have to do that all the time?"
asked Judge Hog, a little startled at the appearance of the Asparagus Chia.
Judge Hog wished he didn't have to call upon this ridiculous looking Chia, but
he was desperate, and Neopian was in dire need of help. Besides, even if the
Asparagus Chia did look a bit silly, he still got the job done, thought Judge
The Asparagus Chia looked slightly miffed. "Well,
it's the fastest way to get here."
"I suppose I'll let this go this once, though
next time just come through the door."
"I can't. There are always heaps of people waiting
outside your office. If I happened to materialise there, while a Neopet is in
the way, my molecules would bond with theirs, resulting in a horrible mutated,
half and half creature. And I've no desire to become a Chia-Lupe. One half of
me would always be trying to eat the other half."
Judge Hog chuckled at the thought of a Chia-Lupe.
"Well, here is your assignment. Someone, we're not sure who, has stolen Coltzan's
"What!?!?" shrieked the Asparagus Chia.
"Well, to be specific, part of Coltzan's Shrine.
The golden statuette of Coltzan that is usually positioned at the pinnacle of
the shrine is missing."
"Phew. That's okay then."
"NO!" roared Judge Hog "That IS NOT okay. Without
that sacred magical statuette, the shrine won't function. No more free levels
or strength points, no more free dubloons either."
"But why would anyone want some silly statuette?"
asked the Asparagus Chia, his brow furrowed in concentration.
"Were you even listening?" said Judge Hog exasperatedly.
"I said sacred MAGICAL statuette. And besides, the statuette is encrusted with
hundreds of Coltzan Gems." With that, Judge Hog handed the Asparagus Chia a
photo of the statuette, complete with measurements. The photo showed a shining
bright statue of Coltzan sitting in a throne, the armrests covered in Coltzan
Gems. The statue of Coltzan itself had gems built into every inch of robe and
The Asparagus Chia whistled, impressed by the
value of the artifact. "That's a fancy ornament if I ever saw one."
Judge Hog leaned back in his chair. "That's
right." He noted the Asparagus Chia's impressed look. "Defenders of Neopia is
busy trying to take care of that pesky Brain Tree that's acting up again. We
can't spare any resources, and all the big name detectives in town are busy.
So it's up to you, mister Artichoke Chia, to bring this thief to justice."
The Asparagus Chia, chest swelled with pride,
saluted in an elegant fashion with a stubby arm, and almost ended up hurting
himself. "Will do, sir. Oh, and by the way, the name's Asparagus Chia, not Artichoke
Chia." Judge Hog rolled his eyes, and watched as the
Chia ran out of the room, out of the Defenders of Neopia Building, and began
His first step was hunting for clues. After changing into his ordinary clothes
as not to arouse suspicion (or draw crowds of admiring fans, as Brian wistfully
thought) he invisibly travelled to the Lost Desert via the flying suit, where
he landed not too far away from Coltzan's Shrine. Or so he thought. After an
hour of trekking through the desert, he finally arrived at his destination.
What had started as a 'short walk' had ended up becoming a long and arduous
journey. It was times like this Brian wished he didn't have a habit of buying
not-so-genuine-but-nonetheless-supposedly-accurate-and-handy items from shady-looking
characters that hung around the Haunted Woods. Especially supposedly-completely-accurate-with-no-chance-of-confusion
Brian looked over the shrine carefully. The usual
mile-long lines of hopeful Neopets had disappeared, with no one wanting to waste
their time on a shrine that didn't work. Only now and then an ill-informed Neopian
who didn't know what was going on came to the shrine, only to walk off in disgust.
Brian sighed in relief that no one was around to observe him, and after a quick
offering to any spirit of Coltzan that might remain, he got down on his on all
four paws and started carefully looking over the sand. After he found out just
how hot sand can be on a sweltering hot day in the desert, he donned gloves,
and began to search once again. There, in the sand, behind the shrine where
Neopians rarely went, was a tuft of purplish-lavender fur. Brian picked it up,
and sealed it inside a plastic evidence bag. Beside the tuft of fur was a pair
of paw prints. They were quite close to shrine, and judging by their position,
the owner of the paw prints must have been facing the shrine. Why would somebody
be pressed face-first against the shrine, Brian wondered. He thanked the Air
Faerie for windless days, had a brainwave, and got down on his paws once again.
There, the paw prints, once more carefully inspected, seemed to belong to a
heavy-set canine of some type, most likely a Lupe. Brian classified the paw
prints as a hind leg paw prints, and judging by the depth of them, the owner
must have been putting all of their weight upon them. So, Brian thought, mentally
reconstructing the scene, some heavyset, well-built Lupe, walks up close to
the shrine, and stands on his hind legs, his face pressed against the shrine.
Or it could be a female Lupe, Brian reminded himself. There really was no way
to tell, but usually males were more strongly built, so he would just assume
the suspect was a male. Hmmm, this one was a real doozy. Brian crawled around
the crime scene once again, picking up on several more paw and foot prints.
But all stopped a reasonable distance away from the shrine, where people and
Neopets alike stopped and hoped for a miracle. There were some Cybunny prints,
a set of Tonu prints, some unmistakable Elephante prints, and a set of Quiggle
prints. Brian looked more carefully and analysed the Quiggle prints once more.
No, they weren't Quiggle prints. Judging by the width, length, and amount of
webbing, which were too narrow, too long and too little respectively, the prints
belonged to a Nimmo. No matter, thought Brian, and went back to the suspicious-looking
Lupe prints. Brian spotted a discarded cork in the sand. Hhhmmm, that's odd,
thought Brian. That rings a bell somewhere.
Dismissing the cork, Brian looked over the surface
of the shrine that was immediately in front of the Lupe paw prints. Inscribed
deeply with ancient runes, symbols and signs, the Lupe could have easily climbed
up to the pinnacle, using the deep carvings as pawholds and clawholds. Brian
dusted the surface for finger and paw prints, but found nothing. Must have been
wearing gloves, Brian reasoned. Brian, thinking that the shrine, with one face
completely white finger print powder, while the others were untouched, looked
a little odd, used a Water Mote to wash off the powder. Putting on his flying
suit, he hovered in the air a half Turmaculus length away from the shrine, a
few meters higher than the top of the shrine where the statuette formerly stood.
Hhhmm, thought Brian. According to the measurements given to him by Judge Hog,
the statuette would have taken up almost all of the space on the platform on
the top of the shrine, except for a thin border. Brian took out a telescope,
and used it to look at the platform. The area where the base had been was spick
and span, with not a speck of dust on it. The border, on the other hand, had
a coating of sand on it about half a centimetre thick. Brian noted this carefully,
and flew a bit closer, with the telescope still to his eye. As he came closer,
the sand on the border was slightly disturbed by the wing-generated wind turbulence.
Brian flew back to his original distance again. No one could have possibly got
within grabbing range without disturbing the dust if they were flying, thought
Brian. Even with a Telescoping Grabber, or Shoyru Grappling Hook, even with
a Sticky Hand, it would have been impossible. The past day or so had been completely
windless, so the sand couldn't have been replaced. The spick and span area where
the statuette had rested was evidence of that. Well, that rules out the possibility
of theft by a flying suspect. Brian smiled happily. The investigation was going
well. Convinced all clues had been picked up, Brian headed home.
To be continued...
Do you think you know you committee the crime? To find out, tune in next