The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Disappearing Deaver - Part Two
Mysteries usually always began with a letter addressed to
Bracknell Road's Petpet Detectives. Well, the only Petpet Detectives, really.
I couldn't imagine anyone else doing this sort of job! The letter itself usually
contained a distraught Neopian's handwriting that intrigued us into flying to
their location, ready to investigate.
"Let's go, let's go!" Luna called persistently.
As soon as a letter came it was: "Stop everything you're doing and let's go!"
She had forgotten countless times that I was the one who transported the group
from place to place. I could have complained or asked for a few more minutes,
but I never did. Mysteries were too important to wait for.
We soared over the sapphire colored sea, over
the rolling waves and small islands. The air smelled horribly salty, a scent
that I was not used to, so I sneezed, going slightly into a nosedive.
"Heads up, Marlo, we're not in the mood to go
swimming!" Luna yelled over the wind, clinging to my back. I quickly nodded
and straightened my position, realizing that just a few more yards and we'd
be into the ocean. Krawk Island came into sight, the wooden buildings and light
brown sand, the somewhat dead-looking palm trees and the bluish-gray Neopets
that inhabited it.
I wasn't sure where to land, or if we could find
an abandoned dock, because many were already crowded with large ships or pirate
Neopets standing with their arms crossed. I sure as heck wasn't about to ask
them to scoot over. Swooping down towards the ground, I landed with a thump
and shook the sand from my white paws.
"Wow," said Damien. "It's so crowded today!"
"Nah, it's always like this," said Luna, unzipping
her Faerie Back Pack. She scanned quickly over the slopped handwriting (I wasn't
sure if there was a Neoschool around here, and if there was, this client certainly
needed a lesson in 'Handwriting 101').
"Port 14," said Damien, looking over her shoulder
and pointing towards the letter. "Should be straight ahead."
As we journeyed on to meet our new client, I
couldn't help but notice some of the pirates we passed. Most were wearing loose
clothing scraps or jewelry -- earrings seemed to be very popular in that category
-- some of them had gold teeth, matted fur or long, black fingernails that scraped
against the wooden docks as they walked. Definitely not a very welcoming bunch,
and we had met our fair share of unwelcoming Neopians.
I kept my head down, trying not to draw attention
to myself as a fight erupted at a small table beside us. Two pirates, a small
Kougra and a large Aisha were on the ground now, wrestling as their unfinished
games of Armada waited for them. Turning my eyes back ahead of us, I saw the
number '14' printed on a large piece of wood, revealing it as our client's ship.
The Crusader was painted on the chipped side towards the front. The proud,
white flags were flapping in the breeze that rolled off the sea and the rope
ladders swayed gently back and forth.
"Ahoy!" came a cry from the bow. A mountain-sized
pirate Eyrie landed before us, eye level meeting mine. "DeSoto's the name, Captain
DeSoto if you aren't lookin' for a fight," he said and laughed. "Petpet Detectives,
"Yes, sir... Captain," I corrected myself, offering
a white paw. The Captain took it with a rough sandpapery handshake as I introduced
the team and myself. From his gold earring to the black fur at the tip of his
tail, Captain DeSoto looked like a real tough guy. What you'd imagine a pirate
Neopet to look like if you had never been to Krawk Island.
"Well, come aboard. Meet the crew." The Eyrie
gestured with a gray paw. I attempted to exchange a glance with Luna, but the
shadow Yurble was already climbing up the steps to board the ship. Damien followed
her, and behind him came Charlie and me, with Charlie sitting on my head. He
could pretty much do that all of the time, being a pea Chia.
As I stepped on board The Crusader a tingly
feeling snaked up my spine. This was the first time I had ever been on a ship
before, let alone a pirate ship. DeSoto excused himself and disappeared down
below deck for a moment, returning later with half a dozen pirate Neopets, glaring
at us with beady eyes and unchanging expressions.
"Comrades," the Eyrie began, "these are the detectives
from Neopia Central." He turned to us and introduced each one of the crewmembers.
Jack, his first mate, a pirate Lupe with gleaming red eyes and a nice set of
pointy teeth, West, a pirate Techo who was skinny as a rail and had a thick
wooden leg, Roxanne, a Peophin, and Wally, the Techo chef in the galley and
four others who were living on the ship, too.
"Well," I said after a moment of silence and
crooked smiles. "Thanks for the introductions. If you don't mind, Captain, we'd
like to speak with you."
"Of course," said the Eyrie, and he pointed to
the stairway. "Come below deck and we'll speak in private."
The line of a half dozen pirates shuffled aside
to make room for the five us to start down the creaky stairs. They groaned under
my weight and I felt my claws sink into the surface with each step, unsteady
and sure that they were going to give way.
They didn't... fortunately. We reached a thin
hallway, lined with swinging lanterns that made the dim lights bob up and down
on the walls. There was also a strange echo noise that I suspected was the crash
of the waves against the ship, the sound traveling in through the open windows.
The first door on the right was Captain DeSoto's room. A pale, yellow hammock
hung from one wall to the other and a chair was leaning against the wall. The
remains of a second one were scattered across the floor.
"It's a nice place," I said, after realizing
that DeSoto wasn't as talkative as I was hoping. "The ship, I mean... big and
strong. Useful, I imagine."
"That it is," said the Eyrie, preening the gray
feathers on his massive shoulder. "There are some sly folks here who'd try to
steal anything they can get their grubby paws on, I imagine. Including Kip."
He paused and looked me in the eye. "Guess that's why you're here."
"Yeah," Damien said. "Right. So, let's start
with what happened when you found out Kip was missing. It was early in the morning,
when you woke up?"
"About seven, yes."
"And did you notice anything unusual the next
morning? Footprints, maybe?" I inquired.
Captain DeSoto thought about it. "Not that I
"Does Kip stay in your room?" asked Luna.
The Eyrie nodded slowly as if he was thinking
about it. "No, not usually. She's always out roaming the deck and stuff. I don't
see much of her at night."
DeSoto squinted at me, his black eyes narrowing.
I rephrased the question. "Who's around at night?
Surely you have some kind of guard to watch over the ship. Protect it and it's
loot from those sly folks you mentioned."
"I was thinking along the same lines as you,
Marlo. My lookout, Simeon, is on patrol at night. So half the crew and I figured
he was responsible for her disappearance. Plus, he's a flyer." The Captain crossed
the room and said towards the window, "He could have set her free somewhere
along the rocks where I wouldn't noticed... don't think Simeon likes petpets
all that much. Or, if he fancied making a dubloon or two, he might have sold
her on the island to some lonely pirate who was in deep need of some company."
The Eyrie put a paw to his heart, a gesture I would not have expected to come
from a pirate. "We scavengers of the Neopian seas need the company."
"I understand," was the only thing I could think
of to say. It was obvious we couldn't get much more information from DeSoto...
after all, he wasn't actually present when the disappearance occurred.
We needed to find the vital information, narrow it down to the bare essentials.
The only Neopian we could get that info from was...
"We'd like to speak with Simeon. Could you point
us in his direction?" Luna inquired. She applied a businesslike grin to her
dark face as DeSoto gestured towards the room down the hall. "Thanks for your
Captain DeSoto's door slammed shut the second
we were out. A bit rude, I decided, as we continued down the hallway. The last
door on the left was slightly open. I pushed it the rest of the way and it hit
the wall. A Shoyru was sitting at a small table, scribbling onto a piece of
parchment that curled at the ends. A few other sheets of it were scattered at
"Simeon?" I asked. "We'd like a word."
The Shoyru looked up towards the wall he was
facing at the mention of his name. He let the quill slip from his hand and gave
us a weak smile. "Come in," his soft voice instructed. "I was just working on
my resume... seeing as the Captain is likely to fire me within the next few
days." The Shoyru gave a somewhat dramatic sigh and turn the chair around so
he could get a better look at us.
When he looked up at me, I noticed that he had
a round and young face. But it was craggy from fatigue and rough looking, giving
him an older appearance. Under his unfocused, brown eyes were dark circles.
A black bandana was tied loosely around his forehead and his boots were scuffed
around the edges from work.
"I've always dreamed of being a Captain myself,"
said Simeon, removing his black bandana. "Maybe with a little more training
from Captain Threelegs down at the academy..."
"Simeon, The Crusader needs you. Our job
is to help you keep yours, okay?" Luna told him, offering him a business card.
"We're detectives and we really want to help, but need your participation."
The Shoyru nodded slowly.
"Good," I said, pulling up a large chair from
the corner. "Let's begin with what happened."
There was a pause before Simeon started speaking.
"Well... I'm not sure what you want to hear."
For starters, I'd like to hear that you didn't
have anything to do with the Petpet's disappearance, I thought to myself.
Luna came up with a better response. "We want
to hear your side of the story. Let's start with the night that you were on
duty, the night before Kip disappeared. What were you doing?"
After a tentative moment, he began speaking.
"I was sitting in the lookout post," he pointed up to the ceiling, "in the basket
on the mast." Simeon paused and rubbed his face, as if trying to remember. "I
spoke with DeSoto... something about giving one hundred and ten percent and
"How often does he talk to you about this?" Damien
"More recently he has been," said Simeon. "I
don't know... I don't keep track. A few times, I guess. He thinks I've been
sleeping on the job. Well, I guess sometimes I take a little nap, but I'm pretty
sure I was awake all that night..."
Luna was busy taking notes and writing down the
words that were now rapidly flowing from his mouth. "If Kip disappeared in the
hours of the night and you didn't fall asleep, you must have seen something.
Is there anything you think would be vital for us to know?"
Simeon's forehead wrinkled. And then his eyes
lit up like a crackling fire. "I did see something..." He looked over at Luna
and said, "I just remembered it now. There was a light in the water. It... it
was yellow and glowing like a flashlight would. I didn't know what it was, so
I went over to the edge to get a better view. But before I could reach out and
touch it, the light was gone like someone had turned it off." Simeon looked
over at Charlie and me. "It was an awesome sight."
"When was the last time you saw Kip?" asked Damien.
"Kip? I saw her before that... she must have
"Anything else?" Luna said. "After the light
Simeon leaned back and crossed his arms, thinking
hard again. He focused on the wall and said, "There was another boat that was
traveling back to Krawk Island; we were floating at sea, so it was moving away
"Good," I said, rising up from the chair. My
tone was bright with enthusiasm. "That's a lead right there. What can you tell
us about the boat?"
The Shoyru smiled a little at the fact that he
was being helpful. "Umm... it was rather small. Brown, I think. It was dark,
so I'm not entirely sure of the size because of the shadow, but--oh!" He sprang
up like a Meerca and said, "When it passed through the moonlight reflected on
the water, it had stripes. Two black stripes around the stern."
"Excellent," I said. "We'll have to start looking
for it first thing. It's docked somewhere around here, I imagine."
"Thanks, Simeon, you've been a big help," said
Luna and the four of us exited. The room across from Simeon's was ours so the
four of us started inside to discuss the conversation.
"Well, wasn't that productive?" Damien asked.
The royal Aisha had a small grin on his face as if he was happy how the meeting
with Simeon went. I was too.
"This is great," said Charlie, speaking up at
last. "I don't think we've ever gotten so much important information in the
first fifteen minutes."
"Don't get used to it," Damien told him. "I don't
think there's much to this case. We probably won't find out anything else that
crucial. First thing tomorrow, we're going to start looking for that boat. Agreed?"
Luna, Charlie, and I nodded.
"This should be easy," said Luna, as we started
down the dim hallway. "We find the boat, we find out who it belongs to, we find
"Sure," I said, but something told me it wasn't
going to be that simple. It never was.
To be continued...