The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Disappearing Deaver - Part Six
Finding Jack wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. We just used our heads. Luna said that Jack told her his favorite place to go was the Golden Dubloon, so we headed there first. It wasn’t a long flight out to the island, but it was a windy day so it put more strain on my wings.
I landed in the sand just before the walkway to the ship, which was the setting for the bar. Damien and Luna scurried off my back and headed eagerly towards the rope ladder. The four of us entered the ship, which had a large plank in the back that read ‘The Golden Dubloon’. Sure enough, Jack was sitting at a bar stool, sipping a drink from a gray mug.
“Jack, hey!” Luna called. She waved to him and wove through the crowd of pirates that were either drinking or standing around conversing with one another. She, Damien and I pulled up stools so we could talk.
“We heard what happened,” said Damien.
“It was unfair,” Luna cut in. “But don’t worry, we’re going to get your job back.”
The Lupe looked up with unhopeful eyes. “Unless there is any way to prove I’m not guilty, I’m afraid the Captain has his mind set.”
“Anything t’ drink?” came a gruff voice from behind the counter. A wiry pirate Lenny looked at us with a large, brown eye.
“No thanks,” I said.
“Agh!” she said, and then pointing to the sign, “No dubloons, no entry.”
Luna was already ticked off enough for the four of us so she pulled her Faerie Back Pack onto her lap and began rifling through it. She pulled out a card and slapped it on the counter. “We’re detectives,” she said hotly. “Which means we’re doing a job.”
“Aye, aye,” said the pirate Lenny, shaking her head in annoyance, but thankfully she wandered back over to a group of Wockies enjoying their frothy drinks.
“We should go check out your boat,” suggested Luna to Jack. “I’m sure we could find whatever we’re looking for in there.”
“I don’t have a spare key,” he said. “How are we going to get in?”
“I think I can solve that,” said Luna. “Let’s go.”
“Tell you what,” I began. “Jack and I will meet you there. I have to ask him something. You can take a boat back to Krawk Island and we’ll see you at port three. Just hurry,” I added, “we don’t have much time before Jack is replaced.” I didn’t really like the idea of the three going... mainly because I wanted to be with them when they searched Jack’s boat. All of the answers could very well be right there and I’d have to miss out a little.
“Fine,” said Luna. Damien put Charlie on his hat and the three of them hurried out of the bar.
I looked over at Jack. In a way, he was still a suspect but I trusted him. There was something that made me know for sure that he was not involved in Kip’s disappearance, whether it was the fact that he bought her for DeSoto in the first place, and that he had no motive: it wasn’t like he could ever get the Captain’s position. Jack was pretty well set on The Crusader and leaving the boat in port three made it look very obvious that someone was trying to frame him.
“I have to ask you something,” I said. This was the only doubt I had about him. “I talked to Wally last night and he said that you were up and moving around during the night that Kip disappeared. Since it could be important to the case, I really would like an explanation.”
Jack almost laughed. “Before Simeon joined our crew, I mean their crew, I was the lookout. The best they’d ever had, DeSoto told me, so when Simeon came along he made me first mate. I guess that since Simeon’s performance hasn’t been so amazing lately, I’ve kind of stepped up to protect the ship. I always thought the Captain realized that about me, that I was loyal, but I guess not.”
“We’re going to get your job back,” I told him. “I’m positive. But I need one more thing from you. Can you help me narrow down the possibilities of who could have taken Kip?”
“Sure,” said Jack.
His wish was about to be granted. I decided to let him in on the case. I told him how we discovered that a water sceptre was used to create the distraction the night Kip disappeared. “We’re looking for someone strong in the Battledome, with a good enough reason to take Kip, and the evidence that it was him or her.”
“We can rule out the Captain,” said Jack, with a small laugh. “Let’s see... West has been with the ship longer than I have and he’s happy with his piloting job. There have never been any problems with him before... Simeon’s the one who could very likely have taken Kip because the Captain was always unimpressed with him. He never quite stepped up.”
I had a feeling it wasn’t Simeon either, but these good and bad feelings were useless without facts to back them up. “Simeon probably fell asleep during the time, like he said,” I told Jack. “Doesn’t he fall asleep almost every night?”
“Yeah,” said the Lupe, taking a long drink. “That still leaves five crewmembers.”
“Good,” I said. “Let’s keep talking...”
It only took a few minutes to get from the Golden Dubloon back to Krawk Island. Damien, Charlie, and Luna hurried along the dock waiting anxiously to reach port three. When they rushed up the dock to board the ship, they were all very surprised.
“The lock’s gone,” said Damien slowly.
“Someone was here this morning!” exclaimed Charlie.
“Well, should we go in?” Luna asked. “I mean... it could be a trap or something.”
“This is way too important,” Damien said. “Maybe Jack opened it for us this morning and forgot to say something. He was pretty upset... come on, let’s see what we can find.”
The trio pushed open the door and cautiously stepped inside. The two rooms were both very small and cluttered. Papers littered the floor and the whole place was so dusty that Damien sneezed twice. There were two windows that overlooked the ocean and a door leading to a small closet. That would be a great place to start.
Damien crossed the room; papers crunching under his boots, and yanked open the closet door. There was nothing inside but lots of dust. He knelt down and examined the wall. The dust only collected in a certain pattern.
“Luna, can I borrow your flashlight?”
Thank Fyora that Luna kept almost everything in her Faerie Back Pack. She pulled out a small flashlight then returned to searching the lower cabinets. Damien used the light to check the wall where the dust collected. Then he traced the spots where there was no dust with his paw to get an idea of what shape they were looking for.
“A sceptre shape,” he said triumphantly.
“A water scepter, perhaps?” said Luna. “Yes!”
“But where could it be, then?” Charlie wondered aloud.
“That’s probably what the kidnapper took this morning,” assumed Damien, rising up to check more places. “He or she may create another diversion soon. We should be on guard.” A faint click made his extra set of ears perk up.
“What’s up?” asked Luna, noticing the Aisha’s behavior.
Damien waited a minute and listened again. After he was satisfied that it was just the boat rocking against the dock, he replied, “Nothing, I guess. We should keep searching. Check those boxes over there.” But he couldn’t seem to shake the strange feeling that something weird was going on.
When Luna started checking under the counter of boxes, she let out a shriek and jumped back. Damien spun around. “Kip!” she yelled. “It’s Kip!”
The poor Deaver was cowering in a corner of its cage, more frightened of Luna than she was of it. Damien breathed a sigh of relief. Petpet found... but kidnapper still on the loose. The search for any other clue continued since despite the fact that The Unsinkable was small, there were many places they hadn’t searched.
“Look,” Damien called, stepping into the second room. Luna was busily trying to calm the Deaver. “There are windows down here.”
“Cool,” said the Yurble, appearing at Damien’s side. They could see a large purple rock at the bottom of the seafloor. Damien was surprised how deep the water was for being so close to land. He watched as Luna checked any closets for clues.
“Well, here’s that spare key Jack was looking for,” said Luna, waving the key ring around in her hand. “Like we need it now.”
Damien shrugged and turned back out towards the window. The purple rock was still there only it seemed to be... closer. He frowned in confusion and continued to watch. After a minute, he realized it was true. The boat was definitely moving.
“Can’t find anything in this stupid mess,” said Luna, digging through a cluttered closet.
“We have a bigger problem,” said Damien, standing up to check the windows.
Charlie was already there. “Guys, we’re drifting!”
“How...?” began Luna, hurrying towards the small window to check. The view of underwater was murky. She rubbed the glass with her black paw to see better. A rope that was attached around the boat was taut, heading somewhere out towards sea. “No, Charlie, someone’s pulling us.”
He and Damien rushed over to where Luna was kneeling so they could all look out the window. They were really far out now; the water was so deep that they couldn’t see the bottom. The trio watched in horror as a figure came into sight. It was almost impossible to tell who it was because the gray color blended well with the murky blue. Whoever it was, he or she was a great swimmer.
“They’re holding something,” said Charlie. “Look.”
A large, blue object was pointed towards them now. It didn’t take long for the three of them to realize what it was: the water sceptre. A yellowy light started to churn in the water from its tip.
“Get back!” Luna yelled, and the three of them rushed over to the other side of the boat. The force of the waterpower coming from the sceptre was so strong that when it collided with the boat, it left an indent so large that it nearly took up the whole side.
To their horror, salt water was rushing in around them, wetting their feet. Luna scooped up Charlie just as it almost washed over his head. The spray of water that leaked from the boards was so strong that the sound filled the boat with a rushing noise. There was no time to stand around. The boat was taking on water and they needed to move fast. They raced out of the second room, slamming the door behind them.
“Hurry, get to the first door!” Damien yelled, taking Luna’s paw. The two of them waded through the water, now ankle-deep into the first room where Kip was sitting wide-eyed in her cage. Damien tried the handle but it wouldn’t budge. He tugged and pushed with all his might, knocking the door back and forth but it was locked.
That was the clicking sound, he thought, his heart sinking. Someone was locking us in... but there was no time to think about who.
“Try the windows!” Luna yelled over the sound of water sloshing at their knees. They waded over to the two windows and tried to unlatch them but they were stuck. Damien’s heart raced; his head filled with panic as paraphernalia from the cabinets and floor swirled around his thighs.
“There has to be a way out,” he said aloud. “There always is.”
“Not always!” Luna called, her voice rising in fear. “Remember when we were trapped in the Sakhmetian caves? There was no way out. We just got lucky when Raia found us!”
Damien clasped his hands over his head, thinking hard. There had to be some way out, something they could do. The boat was now starting to tip from the second room filling rapidly with water. A steady stream was filling the first room as well. The two of them took Charlie and Kip to the highest part of the boat.
Damien fought the thoughts of panic and tried to think. The Unsinkable was sinking fast and the water was already up to his waist...
To be continued...