Undercover Defenders - The New Partner: Part Three
6:17 AM – Main Room, Undercover Defenders Headquarters
When Adella and I left her office, Adella walked directly to the desk in front of her office. There was no one sitting there, but a huge Pack of Holding lay on the desk. Adella looked around quickly but didn’t seem to see my partner. She went up to a Nimmo sitting nearby.
“Simen, have you seen Levi anywhere?”
The Island Nimmo frowned, but a blue Yurble sitting nearby said, “She went to the file room to get something, Adella. Oh, and Prudence is late again,” he said, pointing to the desk beside him.
“Thanks, Kane,” said Adella and went towards the room with filing cabinets when the door opened.
I had seen many Neopets in Neopia Central over the years, not to mention some pretty interesting characters on Krawk Island, but I had never seen a Neopet who looked so... eccentric. A silver Acara stood in the doorway, with long, sleek dark-silver hair and silvery-blue eyes with silver hoop earrings on her ears. But it was what she was wearing that caught my attention. She was wearing a regal black robe, a scarf that looked as if it were made of metal, black pants and boots that went nearly up to her knees. She was also wearing a green sash around her waist and a black Meowclops ring and a ring shaped like a coffin on her fingers. There were a couple of manila files in her hands.
Please don’t tell me this is my partner.
There is no way this Acara is the number one Agent in the Undercover Defenders. Maybe she’s a Filer or something.
“Need something, Adella?” the silver Acara asked.
“Let’s go to your desk first, Levi,” said Adella. She seemed to be contemplating her words closely, I noticed. As we turned to go back to the desk, the silver Acara spotted me.
“Who are you?” asked the Acara quizzically, looking at me quickly up and down.
“I’m Segyx Elsly and I’m –”
“I’ll tell her, Segyx,” replied Adella quickly, and the Acara’s expression went instantly from quizzical to suspicious.
“Tell me what, Adella?”
We were at the desk now. The Nimmo named Simen and the Yurble named Kane looked over warily.
“This is your new partner.”
There was a silence in the perimeter. Even though the computers kept blinking and the other co-workers chattered happily, everyone who had heard those words turned around and looked quite nervous. The ominous feeling inside me seemed to get bigger and bigger by the second and I had no idea why. Was there something wrong with me? But everyone seemed to be staring at the Acara and her reaction to Adella’s statement.
“Partners?” said the Acara, rather coldly. “We talked about this, Adella. I don’t want one.”
My heart dropped. Why would Adella give me the Acara as a partner if she didn’t want one? But I felt like I was missing something critical as the Gelert and Acara seemed to have sparks shooting at each other’s eyes.
“Levi,” said Adella, not at all put off by the Acara’s hostility. “Be reasonable: I send you out on dangerous missions that seem to be much too hard for one Neopet –”
“But I complete all of them!” the Acara interrupted rudely. “And I complete them all –”
“This Xweetok will be your partner, no matter what –”
“—quickly as well! Shouldn’t I be able to do as I please –?”
“—you can’t have everything, Levi! Stop acting like a child!”
“It’s because I act like a child I do my job well!”
Everyone in the room was now watching this exchange like a tennis match, even the computer operators, who were supposed to be looking at their computers. I thought vaguely that this conversation rather sounded like one of a mother scolding her daughter, not of a boss and worker.
“Levi,” said Adella, grinding her teeth, the anger she had been trying to suppress now apparent, “this is your partner, understand? Do not interrupt,” for Levi had shown all signs of interrupting, but seemed to sense some danger after the looking at her boss’s face. “Segyx Elsly is now your partner. Now finish your mission report and help him settle in. AM I CLEAR?”
“Clear as a whistle,” muttered the Acara, who seemed to finally realize that she wouldn’t get her way.
“Good,” said Adella. “Everyone else, get back to work. And Prudence, thanks for finally showing up, but don’t be late again. Segyx, you can just rest for now. Braxton, come into my office and I’ll give you a mission.” And with that, the Desert Gelert and a brown Zafara went into her office and she slammed the door behind her.
This is not good. I looked over at the Acara, expecting her to be positively furious but instead she just let out a huge sigh and turned towards me.
“Seg, wasn’t it?” she said as put the manila files down on her desk. I opened my mouth to correct her but she continued, “Right, you can have the desk next to mine; it belonged to my old partner. I need some more files. And don’t touch my stuff,” she added as she stalked off back to the file room.
Like I’d want to. I already didn’t like this silver Acara, who already seemed to not like me, be difficult with Adella, and from Adella’s words, act like a child. I sat down at my desk which was covered in dust and groaned loudly. This job suddenly seemed less fulfilling than I thought it would be.
The Island Nimmo, who sat next to him, clucked his tongue sympathetically as he copied something from a file.
“Levi’s a real handful. She’s always like that.”
“Worse, really; my condolences to you,” added the blue Yurble whose desk was in front and turned towards me.
“Um... what were your names again?”
“Simen Lune,” said the Island Nimmo.
“Kane Kwiks,” said the blue Yurble.
“Are you guys Filers?” I asked curiously.
“The best,” boasted Kane while a pink Bruce on Kane’s right snorted.
“Have a problem, Prudence?” said Kane, narrowing his eyes.
“So I agree,” said the pink Bruce, “that Simen is probably one of the best Filers. But you... you’re the one who’s always goofing off and never working!”
“At least I show up on time,” said Kane under his breath, but she continued.
“So I get caught up in the Neopia Central crowd every once in a while. At least I work.”
The two continued on arguing, which I guessed happened often since Simen ignored both of them and turned towards me.
“Your name’s Segyx, right?”
“Yeah. Can you tell me what’s up with um... what’s that Acara’s name?”
“Her name is Levialy but call her Levi,” warned Simen and somehow immediately knowing who I was talking about. “She kicks up a real fuss when anyone does that. She’s just the residing commander-in-chief of mischief in our office. She’s always acting childishly and playing pranks.”
I wasn’t sure I liked the matter-of-fact tone Simen was using when talking about Levi. How could someone be like that and be the best Agent?
“How’d she get like that?” I asked, wondering if I didn’t want the answer.
“No one knows,” said Simen, louder as Prudence and Kane’s argument had increased in volume. “Would you two get to work already? Anyway, we don’t really know but she’s not telling that’s for sure. We’ve just come to believe she’s always been like that.”
“How did she get to being such a high ranked Agent?” I wanted to know.
“She’s just really good at the job,” said Simen, shrugging. “That Acara trusts no one but herself but knows Neopia really well. She can take down someone three times her size and strength, set a trap for the cleverest thieves, and find anyone at anywhere at any time. But then again, she’s childish, selfish, and disrespectful. Quite a partner she’ll be. I wish you luck.”
“I do, too,” I said, sighing. It seemed like helping Neopia would be a lot harder than I thought it would be with Levi as a partner. How could I work with someone so childish when I was so serious about my job?
“So where were you before you got here?” asked Simen. “Neopets from all over Neopia were brought here for their skills.”
“Krawk Island, but I’m from Neopia Central,” I explained.
“Really? I’ve never been there,” said Simen, interested. “I came from Mystery Island myself. What’s it like?”
“Pirates, pirates, and more pirates,” I said a bit moodily then I meant to be. I didn’t like most pirates; they were always stealing from others and causing trouble though there were some decent I talked to. “I was catching really dangerous ones before I got here and Adella came to Krawk Island to recruit me.”
“Wow, you caught pirates,” said Simen, impressed. “You’ll be a good Agent!”
“Yeah but you have to deal with Levi,” said Kane, cutting in, having stopped arguing with Prudence.
“So how do you –?” but I never finished my question since something just brushed against my leg and I jumped in surprise, banging my legs on the underside of the desk.
“What was that?” Simen asked, looking down by my feet. “Oh, it’s just Keuna.”
“What?” I looked down and saw a Faerie Seti had just gone to sleep down by my feet.
“That’s Keuna,” said Kane. “She’s Levi’s Faerie Seti. You’re not supposed to bring Petpets here, but of course Levi doesn’t care about rules, so Keuna is in here every day. Adella can’t get her to stop, so she gave up a long time ago. Levi’s real stubborn, ya see.”
“Why can’t we bring Petpets here?” I asked, still unhappy I left my Zomutt at home.
“Because they might lead someone back here,” Prudence answered as she sorted papers from a file. “Petpets always go to places they know so someone might try take a worker’s Petpet and try to get them to go back here. We have to be careful. Though Keuna,” Prudence added, “is a bit special. She’s very smart and nicer than her owner, if Levi can be considered nice.”
“I’m nice when I feel like it,” said Levi, who finally returned from her trip to the file room with a stack of files in her hands. She sat down and started pulling out papers and pencil in her desk.
“You, nice?” snorted Kane as she started writing.
“Don’t start with me, Kane. I’ve got to write this report or Jory’s gonna get me.”
“Maybe you should’ve written it a week ago when you were supposed to.”
“Do you want a prank in your desk tomorrow?”
“No,” said Kane quickly. “I still haven’t gotten the ink out of my shirt from the last time, thank you very much.” And he went silent.
Simen leaned over to me and whispered, “Kane has made it his life-long goal to somehow get the best of Levi.”
“Why’s that?” I whispered back, watching Kane fume silently.
“Because when Kane came about two years ago, Levi played pranks on him all day because he was such an easy target. He wants revenge but he’s failed every time. We always tell him to give up because Levi always knows. Always. She seems to have a six sense for such things.”
“Oy, Seg,” said Levi suddenly.
“My name’s not Seg,” I said, “it’s Segyx.”
“Yeah, but Segyx is such a mouthful, don’t you think?” said Levi seriously as she worked. “So I’ll just call you Seg. Anyway, I want to put something straight. I don’t like you very much. It’s better to put such things out there, you see.”
“What...?” I was bewildered. I had never met someone who said to my face that they didn’t like me nor had the guts to say that. Who was this Acara?
“Er, Levi, didn’t you just meet him?” said Prudence, confused.
“Yeah, but there’s a lot to say about first impression,” said Levi, nodding her head.
“Is there something wrong with me?” I said lightly, but in reality I was getting extremely annoyed by this Acara. She made no sense whatsoever.
“Well, I don’t like Moehawk, he’s a terrible singer, the Mohawk on your head annoys me, and I don’t like leather. So I’m guessing we won’t get along. No offense or anything. Oh, and you’re a green Xweetok. So you have a tail. How can you sneak around places if you have a tail?” She said the last word as if it were a crime.
I was far from happy. I was wearing a ripped Moehawk shirt with a leather jacket over it and my green hair was gelled into a Mohawk. I loved Moehawk and someone who insulted my band was liked insulting me. And what was so wrong with my tail anyway?!
“Moehawk is a great singer,” I said coldly. “Why don’t you like him? Are you weird or something?”
“That’s because I AM weird,” said Levi. “I can’t have others thinking I normal, can’t I? So I’m just showing the world what I’m really like.”
I tried looking for the joke on her face but she was serious. Wow. So I changed tactics.
“Still, you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover,” I said. “We could become really good friends later, you know.” Which I doubted, but I kept that to myself.
But I had said the wrong thing. Levi started to laugh. Weirdly. She just went, “Heh, heh, heh,” the whole time. I felt my anger level start to reach its breaking point.
“Me, have friends?” said Levi. “Heh. I don’t have friends for your information. Heh, heh, heh. That was a good one though. I thought you were actually serious.”
I was about to angrily retort when Simen said, “Calm down, Segyx. She’s just annoying you on purpose.”
I tried to calm down but Levi still let out a “heh,” or a “can’t believe he said that,” every once in a while. I looked at the clock on the wall and saw it was only 7:10. There was still eleven hours to go. Great.
To be continued...