The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Yanked Yooyus - Part Four
The four of us spent the evening in one of our beautiful hotel rooms at the Morning Glory Inn. The wooden furniture was the lightest shade of brown and curved intricately at the corners. A white, plush carpet cushioned every step we took and the walls were covered with a light blue, cloud-shaped print.
I lounged on the leather sofa, feeling perfectly at ease and camouflaged, as the shade matched my own color. Even though my feet hung off the left arm rest, it was still a very comfortable piece of furniture.
What was even cooler than the view of the mountains or luxury of the room was the fact that all of the other Altador Cup teams were also staying in this very building. To think that Dasher Soley or Garven Hale could be just under our feet made my knees weak. Meeting anyone from the Krawk Island team would be a dream come true...
“The Altadorians seem to have a fascination with light,” Damien observed, running his blue paw over the symbols on the armoire and pulling me out of my daydream. “An image of the sun can be found on just about all of their buildings.”
“Before their one-thousand-year-slumber, the Altadorians believed that the sun was a god,” said Luna.
I raised an eyebrow. “And how do you know this?”
The shadow Yurble gave me her signature smirk. “Because I read. You should really work on acquiring that skill.”
“What you should be reading are those profile cards,” I said, pointing to the white pieces of index paper splayed on the glass countertop.
“Speaking of cards,” said Charlie, who had an amazing ability to integrate the case at hand back into our conversation, “are we thinking that the person in the laundry room did not have a card while the person in the Yooyu room did?”
“That appears to be the case,” Damien replied. “Dax was missing his card, so whoever took... wait.” The Aisha eyes were clouded with thought.
I sat up from the white couch. “What?”
“I’ve just realized something,” said Damien. “Why would someone take Dax’s card when he was in the laundry room?”
“Maybe because they didn’t have one,” suggested Luna.
“No, no, they must’ve had one. The only way to get to that underground level is either by the lift or the stairs, and both require an access card.”
I swung my legs off the sofa and stood, wrapping my mind around the Aisha’s words. “You’re right... the kidnapper must’ve had a card to get into the stairwell or lift, so what would be the use of taking Dax’s?”
“Hmm,” said Luna, and she paused. “Perhaps the kidnapper who was headed to the laundry room had dropped his or her card in the excitement of everything. And with so many people piling into the Colosseum, it would’ve been hard to find again.”
“Or maybe the kidnapper needed two cards,” Charlie said from the countertop. “Maybe he or she already had one, but needed another to give to the second kidnapper who was going to the Yooyu room.”
Damien winced. “I don’t know about either of those. The chances of the kidnapper randomly losing his or her card are unlikely, and why would the kidnaper follow Dax down into the laundry room and then go back up to deliver the card to the second kidnapper? It seems like a lot of unnecessary moves.”
“Not really,” I said after thinking about it. “The kidnapper followed Dax into the laundry room because he or she knew that it would most likely be empty and that there would be a place to store Dax while he was unconscious.” Luna, Damien, and Charlie were still listening intently, so I continued, “Not to mention, by taking Dax’s card, he would have no way of disrupting the kidnappers’ plan. Imagine if he woke up and was able to get to the ground level or even the Yooyu room. He might’ve walked in on the vanishing act.”
“One flaw,” said Luna. “The kidnapper trapped Dax in that storage closet. He or she knew that Dax wouldn’t be able to free himself with the door wedged like that, so what was the point in taking his card then?”
My shoulders slumped. “Darn it.”
“I think part of what Marlo’s saying makes perfect sense,” said Damien. The royal Aisha stood. “But what if the reason for taking Dax’s card was because the kidnapper didn’t have his own? Maybe the accomplice opened the stairwell door for him and then went to the Yooyu room.”
Charlie shrugged. “That’s a possibility.”
“If the kidnapper entered the Yooyu room before the game, maybe someone saw him!” exclaimed Luna. “Remember the layout of the arena? The door to the Yooyu room faces the stands.”
My heart thumped harder at the thought. “We need to get to the box office and find out who was sitting right next to that door. There’s a good chance that they saw who went in or out!”
“First thing tomorrow,” said Luna, checking the clock on the wall. It read 7:23pm. “The box office has been closed for over an hour.”
“Ugh,” I said, collapsing back onto the sofa that matched my feathers. I couldn’t wait that long.
As Luna promised, when the sun had barely made it above the horizon, we skipped the hotel’s complimentary breakfast and walked to the box office across the street.
A gruff, yellow Chia sat behind the desk, reading a copy of the newest issue of the Neopian Times, no doubt trying to unravel the mystery of yesterday’s opening match. When he saw us coming, he tapped at a sign in the window that read: No ticket sales until further notice. When he saw that we continued to advance toward his booth, he opened the window.
“Hi,” said Luna. “We’re the detectives investigating the Altador Cup case.” She handed him a business card from the front pocket of her backpack.
“Detectives?” he repeated. “Well, I’ll be. They ain’t tellin’ us much about nothin’, ya know what I’m sayin’?” He waved the newspaper. “Yooyus gone. Five columns of nothin’ but fluff.”
“Yes, we’ve heard the Cup Committee is being a little evasive.”
The Chia snorted. “After yesterday’s fiasco, we got a right to know what’s goin’ on in our own city.” Luna made a neutral comment and the Chia folded his arms, leaning on the counter. “Well if you’re not here about tickets, what can I do for ya?”
“We need to know the names and addresses of the people sitting about... here.” She used the seating chart taped to the counter to point to the risers.
The Chia raised an eyebrow, but he took off his glasses and examined the seating chart. Using a Virtupets computer, he pressed a few keys and we waited behind the counter patiently.
“The eight tickets in that area were purchased by one person,” he told us. The Chia copied down the information on a blank piece of paper.
Olivia Nash. 252 Siyana Way.
"Thank you," said Luna, and we turned to leave.
“Hey, look,” said Damien and he pointed to a booth at the other end of the plaza.
I squinted to focus in the bright sun to read the sign. “Yooyu Protection Act?”
“Let’s go over and talk to that guy,” said Luna, tugging on my arm.
“Hey, we’re supposed to be going to Siyana Way. That booth’ll be there for a while.” The sun was unrelenting and I could feel it burning a hole right through my back.
Luna ignored me. “Come on, it’ll only take a second.”
I rolled my eyes, letting the shadow Yurble lead the way.
Luna strode to the booth with confidence and the green Ogrin inside of it stood, smiling eagerly. Poor guy, I thought. He’s probably so bored. There were a few people out today, but nowhere near as many as yesterday, crowding around the entrance to the Colosseum and demanding to know what was going on.
“Hi,” he chirped, once we were close enough to hear him. “Would you like to sign a petition to help prevent poor, defenseless Yooyus from being utilized in a selfish sporting event?”
Selfish sporting event? I crossed my arms, immediately disliking this guy.
“Maybe,” said Luna. “Can you tell us more about this?”
“Sure,” the Ogrin said, eyes brightening. “My name’s Camden and I’m the founder. The Yooyu Protect Act is a plan to eliminate the Yooyus from the game and replace them with a more suitable object, preferably something inanimate, not only for their own safety, but for the safety of others.”
Luna nodded. “I see.”
“The safety of others?” I echoed.
“Do you know how it feels to be slammed by a Yooyu traveling thirty miles per hour?”
“Nope,” I said. “Do you?”
Luna stepped on my foot, flipping to a new page in her notebook. “We’re actually investigating the Altador Cup case,” she said. “Can you tell us where you were five minutes before the opening match, Camden?”
The Ogrin flinched. “You think I have something to do with that?”
“What I think,” Luna began, “is that you have a great motive.”
“M-Me?” Camden sputtered.
“Yeah,” I said, carefully stepping in. “You want the Yooyus removed from Yooyuball and all of a sudden your wish comes true.”
Camden stared at us in disbelief. “I don’t know how you could possibly think that I got in there, because you either need one of those access cards or a ticket.”
“You’ve never set foot in the Colosseum?” I asked.
“I went to a Lost Desert vs. Haunted Woods game last year. Not for entertainment purposes,” he added quickly. “I needed to do some research to set up this booth.”
“I admire your dedication,” said Luna, and she put away her notebook.
“Does that mean you’re not going to sign?” Camden said, holding up the pen dejectedly.
“No, I’ll sign,” Luna replied, and I watched in amazement as she jotted her name down on the sheet. “Thanks for your time.”
When we were out of ear shot, I spun around. “I can’t believe you signed that piece of garbage!”
Luna rolled her eyes. “For your information, I only signed to see who else’s names were on the list. Anybody who wanted the Yooyus removed from Yooyuball would be a great suspect.”
I cocked my head to the side in disbelief. “That’s actually pretty smart.”
“Not really,” said Luna. “The only other person who signed was Camden.”
“But I like the way you think,” I added.
“Save it,” she said, grinning. “Let’s get to Siyana Way.”
To be continued...