Memories of the PPL: The Spell
Glasgow stared at his mug for a few seconds after Duke the Yellow Kougra was finished with his story. He wanted to find the best story to tell his fellow colleagues.
“Glasgow, is something wrong? You’ve been awfully quiet ever since Duke finished his story,” Samrin asked. Glasgow shook his head.
“I’m fine, I was just trying to think of a story to tell you. I think I found the right one, so hopefully it will be good. Mind you, my story isn’t exactly an adventure like some of yours were, but more of a mystery, but nevertheless, it was still an adventure for me. Even though it’s been so many years, I still remember it like it was yesterday.”
It was my rookie year at the Petpet Protection League, specifically at the PPL Headquarters, located in Neopia Central, when the incident occurred. It occurred sometime during the Month of Awakening, aka February. Tess, a Brown Yurble who ran a Petpet rehabilitation centre, came in to report that several of the petpets residing there were missing. While the others laughed it off and did not believe her story, an old friend of mine, Crim, a Red Wocky, believed her and made a promise to her that the PPL would get down to the bottom of it as soon as possible. By coincidence, he ended up being assigned to that case.
Unfortunately for him, he ended being admitted to the Neopian Hospital for a severe case of Neomonia. A few other agents were also sick with the same strain, so their loss meant that we were understaffed. Not only that, but a winter storm was on a direct collision course with Neopia Central, so everyone had to prepare for it, leaving us with no time to investigate.
After the storm blew away, the owner of the Petpet Shop, Marigold, a Green Usul, came in to report that some petpets had been stolen from her store while it was closed during the storm. I was assigned to investigate the case.
While I was interviewing the petpet shopkeeper, I found out from her that the petpets with the ‘Uncommon’ designation were the ones missing from the storeroom. If it had been those with either the ‘Ultra Rare’ or ‘Super Rare’ designations, I would have understood why they were stolen, but I thought it was strange that uncommon petpets were the ones stolen. Even with a thorough search, I found nothing of important value that would help me determine who was responsible for the crime.
I was not sure if my case and Crim’s case were related somehow, so I decided to obtain a copy of his file for comparison. Although the file only contained a single page, owing to the fact that he had been unable to investigate while he was in the hospital, I was still able to make a comparison. Like my case, he noted that uncommon petpets were the only ones stolen. His case also gave me a potential lead, which was the rehabilitation centre itself. As far as I was concerned, there probably was something there that could help me with my case.
Tess was surprised when she saw me, but she did allow me to investigate even though she told me that any potential evidence might have been destroyed or compromised by the winter storm. I was not deterred, as there could still be something that could help me, even if it had been compromised.
As I examined the compound, I noticed that a portion of the chain link fence had been cut away. Not only that, but there was some sort of brown fabric snagged on the rough edges of the fence. Immediately, I suspected that the kidnapper might have used the hole in the fence as his or her escape route after snatching the petpets, so I plucked it out and placed it in one of my pockets. I was going to determine what the fabric was as soon as I got back to Headquarters.
When I returned to Headquarters, I went to my office and took out the scrap piece of cloth for further examination. Judging by the coarseness of the fabric, I was able to determine that the piece of cloth was from a used potato sack.
Approximately a week later, the Petpet Shop had suffered another burglary. After the first burglary, the shopkeeper decided to install Virtupets security cameras as a precaution. Like the first robbery at the Petpet store, petpets with the ‘Uncommon’ designation had been stolen, but this time, I was able to determine who was behind the thefts. Unfortunately, the cameras were in black and white, so I was not able to see what colour the thief, a Chia, was. I did forward the information to the Defenders of Neopia to see if the thief was in their database.
I actually lucked out when a DoN messenger came into my office and handed me an packet. Immediately, I opened it and took out the sheets of paper. I don’t know how they did it, but they were able to give me a colour representation of the thief. I was surprised that I was dealing with a Halloween Chia because the camera feed did not exactly show me a Halloween Chia due to the fact that the Chia was not in costume when the Petpet Store was robbed. According to the report file, the Chia in question had been arrested in the past for petpet cruelty, but it did not go into that much detail.
With that information in mind, I decided to head over to Jackal’s home to see if he was home, but he was not. Even though Jackal was not home, I could still check with his neighbours to see when the last time they saw him was, so I went up to one of houses and knocked on the door. A few seconds later, it opened, revealing a Faerie Grarrl.
“Can I help you?” she asked me. I showed her my PPL badge as I introduced myself to her.
“I’m currently conducting a case involving stolen petpets and have a few questions to ask. Tell me, when was the last time you saw Jackal the Halloween Chia?”
“He was here a few couple of days ago in the afternoon, carrying a large sack of some sort. He was only there for a few minutes because he went in and came back out with the same sack. I could tell that there was something in the sack because it was constantly thrashing around,” she replied.
“And do you know if he has any other places to stay?”
“I’m not sure, but there have been rumours circulating around here that he has a place located somewhere in Roo Island when he’s busy with his work, whatever it is.”
“All right, madam, thank you for your time.” She nodded.
“I’m glad to help. He’s been acting suspicious over the past couple of weeks.”
With that tip in mind, I decided to head to Roo Island to see if that rumour was true. When I arrived, I quickly noted the colourfulness of the buildings, although there were several homes that were painted a single colour. Those seemed a bit suspicious to me for some unknown reason, so I wrote them down in my notepad, although I did not write down the Roo Island Castle as I knew it was owned by King Roo. I was going to check with the DoN to see who or what were occupying those buildings as soon as I arrived back in Neopia Central.
From the DoN housing database, I was able to narrow the search list even further as the majority were occupied. Only two, 1456 Tangleberry Drive and 6783 Lemberry Lane, were unoccupied, but it was a good start.
When I arrived back at Roo Island after a couple hours of rest, I immediately went to the home on Lemberry Lane, seeing as it was closer to where I was than the one on Tangleberry Drive. However, I found it empty after picking the lock open and there was nothing suspicious within the floors during my inspection. I knew that the home on Tangleberry Drive had to be the location of the suspected workplace of Jackal.
As soon as I arrived at the suspected address, I immediately went to work picking the lock. It took me a couple of tries, but when I heard something click, I knew I was successful. Like the one on Lemberry Lane, it was empty on the inside. What made it different was the fact that I could hear something bubbling and judging by the sounds of it, it was coming from below. There had to be an entrance nearby.
It took me a while, but I managed to locate the entrance, which I found in what I assumed was the living room. Once the trapdoor was opened, I took out my Ghostkerchief Hammer and proceeded down the stairs. It sounded like Jackal was home and was busy working on something, so I knew I had to be quiet.
Fortunately, Jackal had his back turned towards me as soon as I reached the bottom of the stairs, so I silently went up to him, swung my hammer and nailed him on the head, knocking him out cold as he fell to the ground. I did not want him to make a fuss when he woke up, so I bound and gagged him, even if I felt that it was not the right thing to do. However, I could only do so much alone and there was no way that I could bring back the stolen petpets, along with Jackal, back to the PPL Headquarters.
I decided to bring Jackal back to the PPL Headquarters for questioning and alert the other agents about the stolen petpets. My work in finding the stolen petpets was done, but there was still a lot of work for me to do before this case was fully wrapped up.
Some time later, I was asked by Crim to question Jackal. I was glad to take on the job. I took the folder from Crim and entered the room. Jackal was sitting there, bored to death. He looked up when he saw me enter.
“I’m going to tell this now, but I’m innocent,” he pleaded. “I had nothing to do with this mess that you’re investigating.”
“Really, Jackal, your lies won’t work on me. Besides, you’ve been arrested in the past before for petpet cruelty, so the odds are stacked against you. Now, tell me, what were you going to do with those petpets that you stole?” He remained silent.
“Look, you’re already in trouble with the PPL for kidnapping those petpets, so if you talk now, your sentence in the DoN dungeons might be reduced.”
“Okay, fine, I’ll tell you. I was attempting to create a petpet morphing potion, so I needed test subjects. Think about it, a lot of Neopians would want to own a rare petpet, so I thought I could help out,” he replied. I was disgusted with his actions.
“And you did even think about the consequences of this? If you had done that, you would have single-handedly ruined the Neopian petpet economy with your petpet morphing potions. Your intentions may have been good, but you nearly opened up Pandora’s Box in the process. You’ve gone too far this time with your experiments, Jackal, and your sentence in the dungeons will reflect that.”
I got up from my seat and walked away, glad that the case was now closed.
Two weeks had passed since Jackal had been arrested and charged with petpet cruelty and kidnapping. On that day, I got a Neomail from the DoN, telling me that Judge Hog was about to make his decision regarding the outcome of the case. I decided to attend.
The other players in the case were already in Judge Hog’s room when I entered and took a seat. A few seconds later, Judge Hog entered.
“Jackal, because you were a repeat offender for petpet cruelty, your sentence in the dungeons will be five months. However, due to your kidnapping charge, you will remain there indefinitely as we’re still trying to figure out how you should serve your time for that,” he told us after taking his seat. I was happy with the results, so I got up from my seat and was about to leave, but Judge Hog stopped me.
“I’m almost done with my decision here, Glasgow. I want that lab destroyed as soon as possible because I don’t want anyone to recreate Jackal’s actions. There are still some petpet morphing potions floating around Neopia, but Kauvara has already been informed about it and has issued a recall. This case is now officially resolved. That is all.”
After Judge Hog left, Marigold came up to me and thanked me. I simply nodded my head because that was all that I needed, the gratitude.
Glasgow looked at his colleague’s stunned faces. To break the silence, he raised his mug of Grapefruit Tea.
“I suggest that we have a toast for the continued prosperity and health of the Petpet Protection League. After all, it was what connected us even though each one of us had different personalities,” he said. The others nodded their heads and raised their mugs, clinking them with each other.
“Long live the Petpet Protection League!”
Thanks for reading the short stories series collaboration on the PPL. If you have any questions or comments about them, feel free to send me or my partners a Neomail.