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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 26th day of Collecting, Yr 22
The Neopian Times Week 80 > New Series > The Gelert’s Mark

The Gelert’s Mark

by battlesunn

Untitled Document

Hmm, how should I start this tale? Once upon a time doesn't seem very appropriate, though neither does an opening dialogue. Sheesh, if Battlesunn had told me how hard writing was, then I never would've attempted this thing!

     Oh, to Sloth with it! I'll just start off by introducing myself. My name is Ezanna; I'm a fully-grown, male blue Krawk. I was once a yellow (and then silver) Zafara... But that all changed when Battlesunn decided that she liked Krawks. So here I am, a sapphire-hued lizard out of water. I still feel like a Zafara, and I certainly miss my wonderful silver fur. But anyway, this isn't my life story.

     I suppose the whole thing started when my NeoHome was robbed. Not by a scammer or anything, but by a few pets. Three, to be exact. All of them were Gelerts. One, who was silver, another, with a coat of glittering gold, and the last, the most frightening Gelert that I've ever met, who was painted shadowed. No, I'm not talking about Shelleylou. Compared to these Gelerts, Shelly seemed about as threatening as my brother's pet Warf.

     It was pretty late at night, around midnight or so, when the Gelerts struck. They stole all the Petpets, including my beloved black Gruslen. They ravaged the kitchen, snatching the many Neggs that Battlesunn had been saving, and lastly, they stole the most valuable thing in the entire household; a green Lupe morphing potion.

     We had the morphing potion for a very important reason. My brother, Mordegan, was undergoing lab ray training at the time, and wished to be returned to his normal form, a green Lupe, of course, after his stats had been raised enough. After he awoke and saw that it was stolen, he was completely devastated. We all were. I was mourning the loss of my poor Petpet, Battlesunn was pining after her Neggs, and the rest of us were just generally feeling downright crummy.

     I got over my sadness fairly quickly, and it was soon replaced by anger. Anger and fury. No one messed with my Gruslen and got away with it! I decided to do some heavy investigating, and began in the one place where most of the valuables were held; the safety deposit box. I opened up the vault, wincing as the many layers of dust hit my nose. Among the many advent calendar prizes, family keepsakes and worthless junk, I spotted a note; its pure white color distinguishing it from the other grime covered items in the vault.

      I stooped down and picked it up, examining the messy, rushed scrawl.

     Your items are gone, what a shame! It's us who's won this unfair game. You'll never see your stuff again, unless you want to feel some pain!

     I shuddered at the terrible poetry. Obviously, whoever had written this note was not a master of verse. I mentally scratched Alstaff off my list of suspects right there and then, not that he had ever been one. I noticed something else about the note; it was signed with a muddy canine-ish pawprint, ruling out every pet except for the Lupe and the Gelert. I grinned. Already, I had narrowed down the suspects list from 47,125,656 to... What, exactly? About how many Lupes and Gelerts were in Neopia? I groaned as I remembered. A figure around roughly six million.

     I knew that I wasn't going to be able to catch the thieves unless I recruited some helpers; or at least, scraped together some information. I also knew that the best place to begin my investigation would be the Chia police station, located in Neopia Central. So, I gave a curt goodbye to my family, who were so preoccupied with grief that they didn’t even notice my slipping out the door.

     It didn't take long to reach the police station; our NeoHome was fairly close by, anyway. The building loomed over me like some gigantic monster, while rugged, mean looking pets leering down at me from their cell windows. I shuddered as a particularly nasty looking Shoyru growled at me and bared his yellowed fangs. I threw open the door to the station and strode over to the desk, drawing out the slightly crumpled note as I went. I stared the Chia chief, a lean blue, in his eye, slamming the note onto the desk. He eyed me suspiciously, as though unsure of exactly what my intentions were.

     "What's this?" he asked, his voice lowering sufficiently, as he picked the tiny slip of paper up in his paws.

     "A note," I replied, somewhat curtly. "My family was robbed the other night, and the thieves left this." And then added, in an afterthought. "Though they took much more."

     The Chia rolled his eyes as he pulled out a pad of paper and a pencil. "Another robbery! Haven't you people ever heard of a security system?"

     I shrugged, my eyes unblinking. "The old clanking cans never failed us before, Chief."

     Apparently, the Chia didn’t appreciate my humor. He just glared down at me for a moment before brushing off my comments with a wave of his paw, turning his gaze back towards his notepad. "Look, Krawk. I'm not in the mood for smart remarks. Just tell me what was stolen."

     I leaned casually against the desktop, drumming my claws nonchalantly on the finely polished mahogany. "A green Lupe morphing potion. Eighteen Neggs, and four Petpets." I sighed sadly before continuing. "A black Gruslen, that one was mine." I added. "--A red Mallard, a blue Meowclops and a green Warf. All finely bred and very well trained."

     The Chief finished hastily scribbling down the items on his notepad. He then ripped off the sheet of paper, and taped it to an already overflowing billboard. He paused for a few seconds, staring at the paper-covered board, before turning back to me and dismissing me with a wave of his pen.

     "All right, Krawk. You can go now." He heaved a great sigh, throwing a look of sympathy and pity my way. "I'm sorry about your Petpets. I know that I'd feel pretty crummy if my Doglefox got stolen."

     "Thanks, Chief." I replied. I was about to leave when I suddenly remembered something. "Wait! What are you going to do about it?"

     He shrugged. "Nothing. Yet."

     "What?!"

     "You, like many other Neopians, were robbed by a trio of marauding Gelerts," he replied, an undertone of disgust evident in his voice.

     "I knew it was a Lupe or Gelert!" I exclaimed, pounding my fist into my open palm.

     The Chia nodded. "Uh-uh. They call themselves Team Alpha. They've stolen from just about everyone, including..." He lowered his voice to a husky whisper. "They're wanted in every region of Neopia!"

     "So why don't you try and catch them?" I asked, scratching my hair with my claws.

     "We have," he replied dully. "Believe me, we have. They're just too darn good at covering up their tracks! We have no leads, none!" He took a long drink of Borovan before continuing. "By Fyora's wings, I'd sure like to put them in here," he gestured with a paw to the many rows of cells behind him. "Where they belong!"

     By now, I had decided that it was time for me to leave. I had learned all that I could from the Chia Chief, and wasn't very interested in having to uphold a forced conversation of small talk. I nodded politely to the Chief, thanking him for his assistance, and left.

     Of course, hearing that Team Alpha had consistently slipped through the Chia police's paws was a bit discouraging, but I wasn't giving up yet, oh no! I just needed some help. Someone on the inside, someone who could do some sleuthing for me, but who I could trust. Someone like...

     "Shelleylou!"

To be continued...

Previous Episodes

The Gelert’s Mark: Part Two

The Gelert’s Mark: Part Three

The Gelert’s Mark: Part Four

The Gelert’s Mark: Part Five

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