A Secret Base Somewhere
"Sys-op, quiet down a bit, will you?" Agent_Magnolia
the disco Aisha requested, kneeling beside her bag. "You're going to get one
of those guards on both our tails."
"I am being quiet," Sys-op replied, sitting
up. "Found it yet?"
"No...still looking," answered Magnolia, rummaging
through her bag. "Ah, wait--ah-HA!" Magnolia held up a bow and arrow triumphantly.
"Now look who's being loud," Sys-op muttered.
"Shut up, Sys," Magnolia replied irately,
aiming the bow for the ceiling. "O...kay," she said, firing. The arrow neatly
hit the ceiling, and Magnolia tugged at a rope tied to it twice to check its
stability. "Sys-op, you stay here just in case some guards come around the corner."
"Right. Whatever you say," she replied as Magnolia
began to climb up the rope.
Magnolia advanced to the top of a relatively
tall pillar. At the top sat a large gleaming topaz. Magnolia had a bit of a
hard time keeping on the rope and reaching for the topaz, but succeeded in retrieving
it. "Mission accomplished, Sys-op!"
"Great, now get back down here!" Sys-op replied.
Magnolia looked down and swallowed, kicking the
pillar to make sure it was there. She decided she'd put the topaz on her head
and slowly climb down from the rope. Although, while putting her seemingly perfect
plan into motion, she let her paw clutching onto the rope slip and fell to the
ground. The topaz rolled away as she hit the floor and an alarm sounded.
"Oh, now look what you did, Magnolia!"
Sys-op cried as she ran for the door. "Try and be a little more careful next
"YOU be quiet!" Magnolia snapped. "You can't
blame all of this on ME!"
"And why not?" asked Sys-op. "This IS all your
"Oh, it's ALWAYS my fault! Sys-op, why
can't you ever take the time out of your day to find something wrong with YOURSELF
once in awhile?! Oh, that's right, you're ASLEEP all day!"
"I am NOT! You take that back!"
"You are too! EVERY SINGLE SOLITARY DAY you are!"
Magnolia cried. "'Sys-op, we got a new case!' SNOOORE! 'Sys-op, we have to go
now!' SNOOOORE! 'Sys-op, look at this!' SNOOOOOORE! ALL the TIME!"
"Well, maybe if you wouldn't crash those CYMBALS
together all the time, I would learn and not sleep so much!" Sys-op retorted.
"That's exactly the reason I DO crash those cymbals
together!" Magnolia exclaimed. "How about you stay AWAKE once in a while, and
I wouldn't have to USE them!"
"Oh, you act like I'm the only one in the WHOLE
agency who has a fault! If you hadn't been so clumsy, we'd have gotten out of
here without a problem!" said Sys-op.
"I am NOT CLUMSY!" Magnolia called. "YOU TAKE
THAT BACK THIS INSTANT!"
"NOT TILL YOU TAKE YOUR INSULT BACK, MAGNOLIA
"SAY THAT TO MY FACE!"
Sys-op opened her mouth again, ready to retort,
but decided against it and kept running. "You know what? I'm not even going
to stoop to your level!"
Magnolia gasped in objection. "Stoop to my level?
Well, then, fine! I won't either! I'll just act like a civilised Neopian, and
I advise you do the same."
"I am a civilised Neopian, thank you very
much!" Sys-op replied. "To put it frankly, I've grown tired of you and your
attitude towards me."
"Well, so have I!" Magnolia snapped. "And you
know what? I think if you can't tolerate me that much, and I can't tolerate
you that much, then YOU SHOULD GET A NEW PARTNER!"
Sys-op slowed down a bit, surprised by Magnolia's
answer. She then caught up with a reply of her own. "FINE!"
NPIA Headquarters, the Next Day
Chief looked up, a bit taken aback. "What do
you mean, you want a new partner?"
"Exactly what I said!" Magnolia replied. "I've
grown extremely tired of having to deal with Sys-op every single day!
And if you ask her, she'd say the exact same thing!"
"So, you're absolutely positive that you
don't want Sys-op as a partner anymore? I always thought you got along well,"
"Not anymore, we don't!" Magnolia cried. "You
should SEE the way she acts now! She has the audacity to call ME clumsy! Can
you BELIEVE that--?!"
"And I just said she SLEEPS a lot! And
you KNOW she does! You know she does, right, Chief?"
"And THEN she says she won't even 'stoop to my
level'! Can you BELIEVE that?!"
"Uh--Magnolia, I get the point," replied Chief.
"You can have your new partner if it makes you happy--"
"And it will CERTAINLY make me happy," Magnolia
"Well, good, because I can see you're certainly
not happy now," said Chief. "You can always go with...um...Alicia Wood
on the third floor. She's been here almost as long as you have."
"As long as it doesn't start with a 'Sys' and
end with an 'op', it's good with me," Magnolia answered. "The third floor, right?
I'll ask around. Thanks!" Magnolia darted out the door and slammed it shut.
"Now, where's Sys-op, I wonder?"
Suddenly the door swung open. Noelle and Sys-op
stood in the doorway. "I'm not supposed to be here," Noelle quickly stated.
"Sys-op just wanted me to open the door because she can't reach the doorknob."
"Don't SAY that, Noelle!" Sys-op demanded, walking
"Now what do you want?" asked Chief.
"A new partner, that's what I want," Sys-op
replied. "I've grown extremely tired of having to deal with Magnolia
every single day! And if you ask her, she'd say the exact same thing!"
Chief sighed again. "I DID ask her! She just
left! And if you'd like to know the truth, she DID say the exact same thing!"
"Well, I'm not surprised! You should SEE the
way she acts now! She has the audacity to say I sleep ALL DAY! Can you
"I've heard it, okay? Can we please not go over
this again?" asked Chief. "If you're absolutely dying to get as far away
from Magnolia as is possible, I'll get you a new partner!"
"Well, that's a relief, because if I have to
spend one more day with--"
"--I KNOW already!" Chief exclaimed. "For crying
out loud, this conversation is like having to listen to nails on a chalkboard!"
"If you'll excuse me," said Noelle, "I know the
perfect partner for Sys-op. Joanna Styles joined the agency a few months back.
She's very friendly, and I'm sure there should be no mishaps like...er...this
one...between her and Sys-op."
"As long as it doesn't start with a 'Magnolia'
and end with a 'Cherry', it's good with me," Sys-op commented. "I take it she's
on your floor, Noelle?" Noelle nodded in reply. "I'll ask around. Thanks!" Sys-op
ran out and Noelle closed the door.
Moments later, the door opened again, but this
time, a brown Mynci stepped in. "Good morning, Sara," Chief greeted weakly.
"Aww, you look upset," Sara replied. "What's
"Magnolia and Sys-op are the matter," he answered.
"Now they're fighting, and there's no way to get them within twenty miles of
"Oh, you mean Magnolia Cherry from that Terror
Mountain thing? So, what happened?"
"I don't know, but whatever it was must have
been very important to have them fighting like this," Chief replied. "You just
missed them demanding new partners."
"Oh, how sad," said Sara. "Well, I do have another
Chief looked up. "What are you getting at?"
"I mean that if they went on the same
mission together, they'd cross paths and hopefully make up." Sara
smiled. "Come on, you don't expect them to stay like this for long, do you?"
"Actually, I don't know what to think now. But,
do whatever you want. It sounds promising."
National Neopian Museum of Fine Art, Later that Night
"You know, it's really great to be on my first
case with someone other than Sys-op," Magnolia commented, turning to her right.
Alicia Wood was a relatively short Korbat with an extremely dramatic demeanour
and a black trench coat and a pair of sunglasses to match. It was 12:37 AM NST.
"If you don't mind my asking," said Magnolia,
"Why are you wearing sunglasses this late?"
"I thought you'd ask," she replied, adjusting
her sunglasses. "But, you see, we aren't here for my sunglasses."
"Eh--I suppose you have a point," Magnolia answered.
"So, I suppose we should be heading in?"
"No--no, I have a much better approach."
"I'm SOOOOOO glad to have a BRAND NEW PARTNER!"
Sys-op sighed. Joanna Styles was a relatively
tall blue Usul with a carefree, sickeningly cutesy demeanour and a bright pink
trench coat and a pair of pink, horn-rimmed glasses to match. She seemed to
have a habit of shouting every other word she spoke as well.
"I mean, ONCE I STARTED working at the agency
a FEW MONTHS AGO, my OLD PARTNER said that I WAS TOO talkative! TOO TALKATIVE!
CAN YOU BELIEVE THAT?" Joanna burst out laughing at her own comment. Sys-op
"Well, maybe you can tone down on the talking...just
a little bit?" Sys-op suggested. "W-we are supposed to keep quiet and
all. S-so...could you...whisper?"
"WHAT?" Joanna replied. "I AM WHISPERING!!!"
"Quiet down a bit!"
"Is THIS BETTER?!"
"No! A guard's coming around! You don't want
him seeing us, do you?"
"GUARD?! WHEEEERE?! WHE--MMMMPH!" Sys-op quickly
clasped a paw over Joanna's mouth to quiet her a bit and dragged her behind
a pillar as a guard walked past.
"Would you cut the screaming out?" Sys-op inquired.
"SCREAMING? I'M not SCREAMING! You WANNA HEAR
"WILL YOU CUT THAT OUT ALREADY?!" Sys-op cried.
"Look, it's getting a bit later than I intended. Let's go in--and don't scream
"Alicia," Magnolia murmured from behind a bush.
"I don't really think this is necessary."
"Rule number 1: A good spy is never caught off
guard. We should stay behind these bushes until we know for sure that no guards
will pass through here," Alicia explained.
"But 15 guards just passed by!" Magnolia cried.
"We know there won't be another one for a few minutes and the door is RIGHT
"Rule number 2: Never make uneducated guesses,"
Alicia replied. "Rule number 3: Always look for more than one entrance."
"Rule number 4: No buts." After a few moments
of waiting, a guard passed by. "Okay...let's go."
Magnolia stood as Alicia somersaulted dramatically
into the museum. "B--YOU JUST BROKE TWO RULES!" She sighed as she followed
after. "I don't need to do the dramatic somersault, do I?"
"Rule number 5: A good spy always does the dramatic
Magnolia sighed in compliance. Irately, she followed
"OOOOOOOOOOO-KAY!" cried Joanna from the rooftop
of the museum. "I'll LOWER YOU into the MUSEUM, and YOU TELL ME when to STOP,
"Okay!" Sys-op replied, dangling from a cord
in a hall in the museum. Joanna slowly lowered her down and into the hallway.
"You can stop now!"
"I CAN? GREAT!" Joanna let the rope go as Sys-op
dangled a few feet from the floor.
"Can we quit doing these dramatic somersaults
now?" Magnolia asked. "My arms are starting to hurt!"
"Rule number 492: A good spy's arms never hurt.
Now come on!" About seven more dramatic somersaults followed until Alicia suddenly
came to a halt without Magnolia's knowing.
"OUCH!" Magnolia exclaimed, falling back. "What's
the big idea?!"
"Rule number 493: A good spy never questions
the dramatic halt. Wait, someone's coming around the hallway," Alicia told her,
pushing her against the wall. "Stay there till the coast is clear!"
"But I know!" Magnolia cried. As another
guard walked past, Magnolia began to wonder why she ever got into an argument
with Sys-op in the first place and started to regret her decision. No--Alicia
Wood was twice the partner Sys-op could ever dream to be. Besides, Sys-op would
have gotten them caught by now. Magnolia followed Alicia out and into the next
Sys-op nearly held her breath as she followed
Joanna through the museum. Keeping up with the Usul was no easy feat, as she
skipped through the halls, viewing the vibrant red lights marking the security
system as no threat. Sys-op occasionally had to keep her from touching them
and setting the alarm off.
"Joanna, would it be too much to ask that you
be a little more CAREFUL here?" Sys-op demanded irately.
"CAREFUL? I'm being as CAREFUL as I CAN BE!"
Joanna replied, continuing to skip down the hallway. She suddenly stopped in
front of a room featuring a large ruby. "HERE it IS!"
Sys-op sighed. As she walked into the room, she
began to wonder why she ever got into an argument with Magnolia in the first
place and started to regret her decision. No--Joanna Styles was twice the partner
Magnolia could ever dream to be. Besides, Magnolia would have gotten them caught
Joanna interrupted Sys-op's train of thought.
"NOW, if I remember CORRECTLY, this RUBY here is--"
"--Involved in some sort of sick burglary plot,"
Alicia told Magnolia. "Seriously, villains these days. They show absolutely
"--SHAME this RUBY here's gonna get STOLEN! I
mean, it's so PRETTY--"
"--Hefty profit by selling it in the marketplace.
Magnolia, we're to wait here as I understand this burglar will be coming--"
"--TONIGHT'S when I HEAR they're going to STEAL
it! So, WE should WAIT HERE--"
"--Until they come to get it. Then we catch him
and drag him back to the police station where he belongs, the conniving criminal.
"--GOT THAT, SYS-OP?" Sys-op and Magnolia, on
opposite sides of the room, nodded to their partners.
And there they waited. One minute turned to five,
five to ten, ten to twenty until finally, Alicia shifted to the left. Sys-op,
from across the room, noticed Alicia's movement and stood up. Magnolia noticed
Sys-op's movement and stood up as well.
"THERE IT IS!" they cried simultaneously. Magnolia
and Sys-op darted towards each other and fell to the floor in a furious skirmish.
"You're not stealing anything from THIS museum!"
"Oh, look who's talking," Sys-op retorted as
they rolled into the light, "--Magnolia? You're the thief?"
"No, you blockhead!" Magnolia replied. "What
are you doing here?"
"Working with my new partner! What are you
"The same!" Magnolia turned away. "Are you sure
you didn't get the wrong museum?"
"No," Sys-op replied. "Did you?"
"N-no," Magnolia answered. "Well...."
Sys-op and Magnolia looked away for a few moments.
"--I'm sorry, Sys--"
Magnolia and Sys-op glanced at each other in
"Y-you are?" asked Sys-op. "I-I mean--you really
"I--well," Magnolia replied. "Yeah. I guess I
was being a bit insensitive."
"So was I," said Sys-op. "Friends?"
"Sure." Magnolia sat up and faced the ruby exhibit.
"So, I guess this was all a setup?"
"Must you ask?"
"So, we ought to head back to the agency, right?"
"I guess so!" Sys-op chirruped. "Come on, let's
The two stood up to depart when Sys-op spoke.
"So, I guess everything's settled now, right?"
"Of course! Just as long as you don't start another
one of those arguments again."
"Me? I didn't start anything! That was
"It was not! You were the one who started this
"No, I think you have it all wrong--YOU started
"No I didn't," Magnolia retorted.
"Yes you did," Sys-op insisted.
"No I didn't!"
"Yes you did!"
"No I DIDN'T!"
"Yes you DID!"
"NO I DIDN'T!"
"YES YOU DID!"
Joanna and Alicia sighed and glanced towards
each other. "You wanna be PARTNERS?" Joanna suggested.
"Fine," Alicia replied.