Undercover Defenders - The New Partner: Part Five
3:10 PM – near the outskirts of Neopia Central
Levi called the plan she had made “simple” even though it involved capturing a massive amount of criminals as quickly as possible while keeping it a secret. Levi also said we were lucky that the Agent observing the guild had made a map of their hideout, which consisted of underground tunnels leading into a huge underground storage level since Levi said she couldn’t have made the plan without it. Basically, the silver Acara said we needed to capture thieves who were guarding the secret entrances first and the other guards in the tunnels before luring the rest of the thieves and criminals to the storage area and take them all down there. Then, she said, it’ll be like taking snow from Terror Mountain. Extremely easy.
That, however, is her opinion. I believe this plan is going to utterly fail.
I told the Levi this but she said to trust her. I find it hard to trust someone who I’ve been told only trusts herself.
But I had to agree with the plan because I couldn’t make up a better one in such a short amount of time. Then she had told me to go home and sleep since I look exhausted from waking up so early and prepare for tonight by loading myself with anything I could think of. We agreed to meet at 3 o’clock near the outskirts of Neopia Central and that’s what I did.
But Levi was late.
I looked around in the alleyway I was in. This area of Neopia Central consisted of dilapidated Neohomes and forbidding shadows, such as the one I stood in, waiting unseen for Levi. She had told me to not be seen in case a thief saw me and became suspicious. However, I hadn’t seen anyone yet; the area seemed deserted although I knew the guild was around here. Levi should find me easily yet she wasn’t here. Did something happen to her?
I pondered the answer uneasily for thirty more minutes until Levi appeared behind me as if she appeared out of thin air.
“Where were you?” I hissed angrily, though greatly relieved. “You should’ve been here thirty minutes ago and we can’t waste time!”
“Let’s just say I cut down their numbers a bit,” said Levi, her eyes glinting mischievous.
“You caught some of the thieves?” I said incredulously.
“Yep! I was coming to meet you here and I saw ten of them skulking towards one of the secret entrances with a lot of food. So I surprised them by tying them up and called Adella. She’ll deal with them. By the way, I don’t like your tone. You seem so surprised that I can actually do my job.”
“How’d you call Adella?” I said, ignoring her last jibe.
“With this,” said Levi, taking out something out of her Pack of Holding. It was a device with a screen and some buttons. It looked like some kind of Virtupets device.
“What is that?”
“It’s a locator. I can locate different places and stuff but I also modified it to be able to send transmissions to Headquarters. It’s from Virtupets. So I asked one of the computer operators, Ludwig, to send Adella to deal with it. All Agents have a watch that does this, but you don’t have one yet since they’re probably still making it for you.”
“Really?” I said, studying the locator. “Did you learn to do this at the Virtupets Station?”
“Possibly,” Levi said, noticeably not giving a straight answer. “Anyway, what did you bring with you?”
I showed her my two silver sai, cooling ointment, and tangle net gun, which were in the utility pack on my waist.
“I should get one of these,” said Levi, moving the tangle net gun in one hand. “Very helpful.”
Levi was also wearing a utility belt as well as the Pack of Holding on her back. But for some reason, she wouldn’t show me what was in it. I had a feeling she wanted it be a surprise.
We went towards one of the secret entrances of the guild. It was in the ruins of an old Neohome and we had to remove a lot of rubble just to find the entrance to the cellar. I opened it as quietly as possible and began to go in, but Levi stopped me with an arm.
I heard a scuffling behind us and immediately turned around; preparing myself to face the worse, I tensed all of my muscles but it was only Keuna, Levi’s Petpet.
The Petpet rubbed herself against her owner sat down next to her.
“Okay then,” said Levi, starting to go down the cellar. “Me first.”
“Wait,” I said as the Faerie Seti began to follow. “Why’s your Petpet coming?”
“She always comes with me,” Levi explained. “She’ll help us. Now come on.”
As Levi led the way into the pitch black cellar, I took a deep breath and followed.
Other than Levi’s Space Fungus Spore giving off a speck of light, it was completely black. The tunnel itself was so small that many times Levi and I would have to tuck in our arms and squeeze into the narrow tunnel way. Levi said narrow passageways were to keep a large, strong intruder such as a Skeith or Grarrl from sneaking into their hideout. I honestly thought that the guild was too lazy to make a passageway bigger because they believed that no one would find it. Levi scoffed at that remark.
Keuna led the way most of the time, unbothered by the darkness and narrow spaces. Sometimes, she would lead us flying but rarely, as if she preferred to keep her paws on the ground.
After minutes and minutes of walking, the tunnel began to slope up. And every step I took, the faster my heart beat, for danger lurked not long ahead –
Levi suddenly put out the light.
She elbowed me hard in the gut, knocking the wind out of me. Then, before I could speak again, I heard voices.
“When were they last seen?”
“Dunno, they went for lunch but never came back.”
“Think they bailed?”
“Yeah, better catch them before they spill the beans on our plan.”
It was two different voices, the first much deeper and the second a bit squeaky. Sweat began to rise on the back of my neck. We were trapped. The thieves’ light was getting closer, and if we made a move, they would hear us, and if we fought, the tunnel could collapse...
I noticed Levi had disappeared from in front of me and only Keuna sitting next to me.
“I hate these tunnels,” said the squeaky voice. “They’re so long I dunno–”
There was a loud thud, a gasp, another thud, and a groan.
Levi came back with a flashlight in hand, looking as if knocking out thieves had cost her all of her energy, but I knew better; she had not even broken a sweat.
“That was tricky,” she said fanning herself with her hand. “Well, we better get going, lots of thieves to catch.”
And as we began walking again and passed the unconscious thieves, I couldn’t help but wonder how the silver Acara had managed to knock out two Zafaras that were so much more muscular than she was.
We reached another cellar door a few minutes later. I turned to ask Levi what we had to do next, but she seemed to already have it covered. She put on a black coat that one of the Zafaras had worn with the hood up and knocked. I noticed she kept her head down with her hair and Acara ears in her hood.
“Go into the shadows for a moment,” she murmured. I quickly complied, grabbing Keuna as well.
The cellar door opened a crack. I could see outline of a blue Grarrl but he couldn’t see me, as I was so far back in the shadows.
“What’re you doin’ back here so soon, I just sent you to get them traitors!”
“We found them,” Levi said, using the squeaky voice of the Zafara we had heard back in the cave. “They were already coming back in the tunnel.”
“Where?” the Grarrl asked menacingly as he wretched the door open, apparently looking for the other thieves but only seeing me looking back at him in shock as the light pouring from the lit room revealed me.
Again, Levi took advantage of the distracted Grarrl and knocked him out of the way. The Grarrl let out a huge roar that echoed through the tunnel and who else knows where. I used his roar to also run out of the cellar and speed past him, blinking rapidly as I found myself in a hallway with three other hallways leading off of it.
“This way!” Levi yelled from the middle path and I hastily followed as the Grarrl began to pursue us. He was quick for his size but Levi was quicker; once again I heard another thud behind me and I ran faster.
“Keep running ’til you reach a door to your left,” said Levi, who appeared in front of me again, running. I was beginning to suspect this Acara was an extremely fast runner but all the same I followed her as we reached the door to my left and burst in. It was a dark closet with boxes. She ran inside, jumped near the ceiling that was three times her height, and punched out a vent opening. I realized that Levi had been wearing Boots of Jumping. Then she took another jump as I slammed the door behind me and she took out the Space Fungus Spore inside of the vent.
“How am I supposed to get up there?” I said desperately; I could hear the clattering of footsteps, many of them, from coming down the hall.
“Climb,” she ordered. With that, I climbed the boxes quickly, thanking my training at the Academy as I went. I jumped at the vent from the highest box and managed to pull myself inside, no thanks to Levi, who had just watched. She shut the vent as began moving ahead while I followed along, exhausted. We hadn’t even managed to penetrate the thieves’ inner storage zone yet. This was definitely not going to be as easy as Levi thought it was.
To be continued...