Eddie Quiggle and the Case of the Missing Petpet: Part Six
Also by melbman
Chapter Six – The Snatcher Exposed
“And that’s why I’ve called you all in here - I know who the real petnapper is.” Eddie Quiggle concluded his mysterious tale, eying off his suspects. All the key players were present in his office – bitter brother Michael Kyrii, Extreme activist Greg Techo and of course the victim, Miss Ava Aisha.
The tension in the air was as thick as a Mutant Grundo.
Michael Kyrii’s eyes were downcast throughout the whole tale. Greg Techo shifted uncomfortably in his seat every time aspersions were cast on him. Only Ava’s eyes had remained intently fixed upon Eddie the past hour.
Judge Hog sighed impatiently. He’d unwillingly gone down to Eddie’s office at the detective’s repeated request. He wasn’t sure why he was indulging that infuriating Quiggle since he still believed the Kyrii to be the perpetrator.
“Get to the point, Quiggle,” he snapped. “Tell us who the culprit is.” He was always frustrated at how those cheesy Private Investigators always had to draw their stories out, as though life were once big mystery novel.
Eddie smiled calmly - he enjoyed this game of cat and mouse. It was exhilarating watching the expressions on the snatcher’s face and he could tell they were just waiting for him to spill the beans.
“You!” He pointed to a stunned Michael Kyrii. “You have been fingered from the very start. A brother so jealous of his sister’s fortune he would send a bunco ransom note in a feeble attempt to cash in. You had no alibi and all the motives. After all didn’t you admit that you flew into a rage when your sister had taken all the credit for YOUR brainchild? Shouldn’t the glory for Kadoatie Brothers have been yours? Weren’t you the one that went out on a limb, sinking every last one of your neopoints into the show, when no one else believed in it? Not even your sister believed... until the profits started coming in, of course. “
Michael Kyrii glared hatefully at his sister. Eddie continued, egging the Kyrii on more.
“That’s when she stepped in and took control, wasn’t it? She sweetly convinced you that she was the more marketable one in terms of looks. She made you believe that she could carry the act even further into stardom, much further than you ever could.”
Eddie Quiggle ginned deviously.
“And we’ve already established that you made a plan, a plan to extort millions of Neopoints out of your sister. Milk her bone dry and take off for the sun and sand of Mystery Island. Your jealousy made you very bitter, Mr. Kyrii, and it made you do the unthinkable. But were you so incredibly jealous that you would actually resort to snatching the petpet?”
Detective Quiggle paused, and looked at his captivated audience. They were all waiting anxiously for him to answer the question that hung in the air. None were as anxious as Michael himself. When it seemed they could take no more of the anticipation, Eddie continued.
“No. You just took advantage of a present situation. Petnapping wasn’t your scheme.”
Michael Kyrii sighed in relief.
“That... brings us to Greg Techo,” Eddie gleefully declared looking directly at his next target. The Techo gulped and turned white. Eddie grinned - he was clearly revelling in Greg’s anxiety.
“You have been a rabble-rouser from the very beginning. Shall we go through the list? Publicly denouncing Miss Aisha, heated arguments with her, prior attempts to remove Charlie from her custody. All these things make you a very likely suspect in this little plot, Mr Techo, a very likely suspect indeed.”
Greg Techo was now visibly shaken, his entire body was quivering, and he opened his mouth but no words came out. Judge Hog motioned for the two Defenders accompanying him to move in on the Techo.
“However.” Detective Quiggle held a hand up to stop the Defenders in their tracks. “Greg Techo is not the culprit.” Greg Techo and Judge Hog moaned simultaneously. Greg’s was one of liberation, Hog's was of annoyance.
“No, the one responsible for snatching Charlie was none other than Judge Hog!” Everyone in the room gasped and Judge Hog began to growl. Eddie chuckled.
“Nah settle down, Hogster, I’m just rattling your cage! The true culprit is Ava Aisha.” Detective Quiggle pointed to the Aisha, all eyes averted to her.
“Miss Aisha,” the Quiggle announced, “the jig is up. I suggest you grab air.” Ava stood up as the two Defenders lurched forward and seized her. Ava sighed regretfully.
“When the fan clubs for the Kadoatie brothers began to dwindle I knew something had to be done. It wasn’t until their Neovision show was replaced with those stupid Koi Inventors that I knew I had to formulate my fool proof plan.”
As Ava explained her woeful scheme, there was little emotion revealed on her pretty face.
“The idea was to hide Charlie down at the PD Storage facility and report him stolen. I figured that such sudden and shocking news would plunge him back into the spotlight and revive his failing career.”
Michael Kyrii was truly shocked at his sister’s appalling confessions.
“How could you do such a thing to your own petpet?” he murmured. Ava shrugged unapologetically.
“I’m down to my last million neopoints. Without the Kadoatie Brothers I would no longer be able to live the lifestyle I am accustomed to. It was all going to plan, and then those Defenders of Neopia Dummies had to cast doubt on you, Michael. I never intended for you to become the suspect. If you were locked up that would have been the end of the Kadoatie Brothers, and my entire plan would have been useless.”
Ava turned to Eddie and addressed him.
“And when they apprehended Michael the first time, I turned to you, Detective Quiggle. I thought that you could unwittingly help me turn the suspicions away from my brother and onto someone else.”
Eddie Quiggle shook his head in disbelief. If it hadn’t been for that anonymous tip that pretty Aisha would have managed to hoodwink him.
“Honey, I should have known something was amiss when you tried flim flam me with that whole bunk about how it was the Petpet Protection League out to get you.”
Ava Aisha glared at Greg Techo with hateful eyes. She struggled against the Defenders' grip on her in an attempt to break free and attack Greg. The venom in her voice was unmistakable as she directed her next comments at the Techo.
“YOU! You were the one responsible for my show being cancelled. If it wasn’t for your meddling ways - the Kadoatie Bothers would still be on top of the Neovision charts. When I hatched my plan, it was all too easy. With all the horrible things you’d been saying about me in the Neopian Times, I could easily point the blame on you.”
“Yes, it was a cinch,” Eddie interrupted, “because who would believe that Miss Ava Aisha would finger an innocent agency, to try and hide her own involvement in the knockover?”
Greg Techo looked at Ava in disgust; her behaviour was the very thing he’d been campaigning against. It had almost landed him in hot water over a crime he hadn’t committed. Greg stood up, strode over to Ava and reprimanded her.
“Miss Aisha, I am thoroughly horrified and sickened by your actions. The fact that you have put an innocent petpet in danger for your own greed and selfish means is beyond forgivable. The Petpet Protection League will be stripping you of any ownership rights you once had over Charlie Kadoatie. You can be assured that no petpet will ever be entrusted to your ‘care’ again. This is the worst case of petpet mistreatment the PPL has ever seen. The very worst case indeed.”
Ava broke down. It was the first time Eddie had seen her show true remorse over her petpet. When she spoke quietly, there was shame in her voice.
“I swear that at no time was Charlie in any real physical danger. He was kept well sheltered and secure at PD. I made sure he was fed the very best at every meal, and I took great pains to ensure he was comfortable and never bored. I assure you that under the circumstances I did my very best to treat him like the king he is.”
“Save it, lady,” Greg Techo retorted. “What you have done is an utter disgrace. You have used your petpet and attempted to place the blame on myself and my organisation. An organisation that seeks to protect these poor creatures from monsters like you. Your behaviour is utterly repulsive. Take her away, Judge Hog.”
Judge Hog motioned to his Defenders and they escorted Ava Aisha to the door. Before he exited, Judge Hog turned to Eddie Quiggle and quietly and reservedly thanked him for all his help in the case. He even alluded that the DoN may not have been able to do it without the detective's help. Michael Kyrii and Greg Techo filed out of Eddie’s office after the Defenders, both filled with gratitude to Eddie for saving their skins.
The case was closed. Eddie Quiggle, Private Investigator, had cracked the case and delivered the suspect into the surprisingly grateful hands of the DoN.
“Another day, another Neopoint,” he mused sardonically and gave a heavy sigh. Of course, there wouldn’t be any Neopoints for this job since his client was the pet snatcher. Eddie shoved his hands deep into his empty pockets and wondered whether his next stop should be the Faerieland Employment Agency.
There was a knock at the door.
“Detective Quiggle?” a feminine voice enquired. Eddie looked up from his overcrowded desk to see a pretty young pink Kougra smiling down at him over her dark sunglasses. Eddie smiled back and stood up to graciously introduce himself, completely oblivious that his troubles were about to begin all over again.
Detectives Speak 101 - Lesson 6
- Finger/fingered – point the finger at, accuse.
- Bunco – fraudulent, fake.
- Sinking every last one – invest everything.
- Milk her bone dry – take everything from her.
- Rabble-rouser – trouble maker.
- Rattling your cage – provoke, irritate
- Jig – game
- Grab air – put your hands up
- Flim flam - mislead
- Bunk – nonsense, rubbish.
- Cinch – easy