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Undercover Defenders - Swamped: Part One


by popso_the_hopso

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To learn more about Seg and Levi's first mission together, please read Undercover Defenders - The New Partner.

Three weeks ago, I joined the Undercover Defenders of Neopia, a secret department within the Defenders of Neopia. The Undercover Defenders department was created to protect Neopia from dangerous criminals that rose up within its shadows and keep them hidden from the eyes of the average Neopian. I became an Agent in this department, a Neopet who was specially trained to fight against the dangers of Neopia, and I was recruited for my talents at catching dangerous pirates on Krawk Island. There are also Filers (Neopets who discover dangers in Neopia from information), and Informants (Neopets who give the Undercover Defenders information from different parts of Neopia). With all of us working together, we are able to protect Neopia from harm and anything that conspires against it....

     *****

7:42 AM – Main Room, The Undercover Defenders of Neopia Headquarters, the 22th day of the month of Swimming

     Even though I was part of a secret department within the Defenders of Neopia, I still managed to become extremely bored.

     No Agent had been sent out in a week on a mission. No bad guy needing rounding up, no one to trail, just... nothing. Filers kept reassuring us that there was nothing abnormal of the lack of villainous activity. Sometimes villains just randomly stop plotting evilly for a short period of time to start up again full force later, they said. They said to wait patiently, but because of this mission drought, all twenty-six Agents (including me) were present in the main room of the Undercover Defender Headquarters. This was extremely unusual since most Agents usually never came in contact with each other as we were always running in and out of the office from our missions. I had barely ever seen other Agents besides my partner, Levi.

     Speaking of Levi....

     For someone who hated boredom and a lack of pranks, the silver Acara seemed to be enjoying herself. She was reading issues of “Neopia Weekly,” leaning back in her chair, booted feet on her desk. She seemed very peaceful at the moment, as if you could approach her easily with the idea of a friendly conversation.

     But everyone in this secret department knew better than that.

     Levialy Descot was always described in one way – completely bizarre. Even Levi describes herself as being weird. But no matter how much you didn’t like the commander-in-chief of mischief and her many pranks she pulled on her co-workers, she was still the rank one Agent out of twenty-five others. An amazing agent, she uses her powers of causing chaos to apprehend villains, handfuls at a time and usually rather quickly, as I had seen in our first mission together.

     We had been sent out to stop a heist from a large but unknown thieves’ guild that had been planning to rob the National Neopian Bank. We stole into their hideout and we were faced with the task (or burden) of catching nearly one hundred criminals in a limited amount of time. I thought it to be impossible but Levi proved me wrong – she had nearly caught all the criminals single-handedly. I had barely helped her, to my dismay, but even though she said she never wanted a partner, she accepted me as hers. I still don’t get why; I just have the hardest of time comprehending what goes on in the silver Acara’s mind.

     Although later I reconfirmed Levi was more trouble than she was worth.

     For instance, a week ago, we had to locate some notorious black-market seller. All we had to do was collect information on where his next sell was by asking around a bit. It could’ve been easy, but no, Levi said that was boring. She forced me to disguise myself along with her as we infiltrated a black-market auction in the outskirts of Neopia Central. Later, she ended up disrupting the auction by knocking over the auctioneer into a group of bidders. How and why, I’m not entirely sure, but I have a nasty feeling she did it on purpose. Chaos ensued – criminals began arguing loudly over who did it and began fighting each other. Somehow, through the thick of the fighting, we were able to capture our target and leave after being chased by the angry patrons.

     It should’ve been a simple task... but Levi wasn’t exactly nicknamed the “Master of Chaos” for nothing.

     I really wanted to prove myself as a good Agent. I hadn’t done anything of importance on missions since the start of my employment; it was always Levi who pulled through. But I had no doubt I’d show her my skill during the next mission. I wanted to protect Neopia from its greatest dangers like I had always dreamed of since I was a child. However, the present ennui was getting to me and it didn’t stop me from laying my head on top of my desk.

     I sighed and looked around the room. The computer operators were typing rapidly on their keyboard, searching for something unusual that an Agent could investigate. I couldn’t help but still stare at the Virtupets computers, amazed by the technology the Undercover Defenders had received from the Space Station.

     “Can’t you do something better than stare at the computers all day?”

     I turned my head towards Levi, whose desk was next to mine. She was still reading “Neopia Weekly.” I had never thought of her as the reading type. Weird. She’s more of the type to throw books just because she thinks it’s funny.

      “Does this happen often?” I asked her, groaning.

     “You, with your head on your desk?” said Levi sardonically. “Nope, that’s a first.”

     “Ha, ha,” I said dryly. “I mean having no missions like this. Happen often?”

     “Not really,” she said, flipping through her magazine, “I’ve only been here like three years and it’s only happened a few times. This time has been the longest. Though I really don’t care – I can catch up on my magazines this way.”

     “Don’t worry, Seg,” said Kane, a Filer, who sat at the desk across from me. “I’ll find you some task to do. There’s gotta be something going on out there.”

     He shuffled through the paper at his desk and opened a drawer – there was a loud bang and a dozen plastic Cobralls shot out, causing Kane to fall backwards out of his chair in shock. In a normal office, most Neopets would’ve been startled by such a random bang in the middle of the morning – that is, if we were a normal office. Everyone merely looked to see who had been pranked by Levi and went back to work as if nothing had happened.

     Kane staggered upward, his blue Yurble fur red in anger.

     “Was that necessary?” he said through gritted teeth at Levi.

     “Possibly,” said Levi, slightly bored. “Although you weren’t nearly surprised as I thought you would be. Are you finally getting used to my pranks?”

     The blue Yurble was about to angrily retort when his friend and fellow Filer Simen put his hand on his shoulder.

     “She’s trying to provoke you again,” the island Nimmo said in his usual calm manner. “Just cool down, Kane.”

     It seemed as if it took all of his willpower, but Kane relaxed his muscles and went back to work. Levi looked disappointed, but turned instantly cautious as she looked up at an approaching figure.

     Jory the green Wocky was heading over towards us. She was a Filer in charge of the Agent reports, both organizing and receiving them. However, she is always asking a certain someone to turn in her papers....

     “Levi,” she said, in a very deadly voice as she approached her. “Where is your paperwork from your last mission?”

     “Didn’t I already do it?” said Levi in a falsely-innocent voice.

     “Would I be here if you did?” Jory said, still in her very threatening voice. “Why haven’t you done it? You’ve had a week to do it!”

     “Hmm...” Levi said indifferently, turning back to her magazine. “Must’ve slipped my mind. I’ll do it soon.”

     Jory made a grab for the magazine but, as usual, Levi easily dodged her by moving the magazine out of her range.

     “You’re way too early to be trying that, Jory,” she said, waving the magazine mockingly at her. “Fastest Agent in the department, remember?”

     “Levi, if you don’t do your work,” said Jory, absolutely furious now, “Adella will hear about it again, understand?”

     Adella was the Superintendent of the Undercover Defenders of Neopia and the one who persuaded me to join the department. A tall and serious desert Gelert, she ran and knew everything that went on in Undercover Defenders. She was also one of the only Neopets known to be able to have some kind of control over Levi – even if it wasn’t very much.

     Levi realized that she didn’t want to cross her boss at the moment when the desert Gelert wasn’t very busy. She grudgingly put away her magazine and grabbed her unfinished report from inside your desk.

     “Satisfied?” said Levi grumpily at Jory, who indeed looked very satisfied.

     “Yes,” she said happily. She was like a different Wocky now. Scary. “Get it done by the end of today, okay?”

     “Whatever,” muttered Levi.

      “Excellent!” Jory said. “Now I just need to finish organizing last week’s reports!” She hurried off back to her desk, clearly much happier than she had been when she arrived.

     “Y’know, Levi,” said Prudence, a Filer who sat next to Kane, “you could’ve just done your paperwork when you had time this week....”

     In irritation, Levi threw one of the plastic Cobralls lying nearby at the pink Bruce. It missed its target and smacked Kane in the face. It wasn’t surprising; even Levi claimed her aim wasn’t perfect.

     *****

     Thirty minutes had passed after the Cobrall incident when a green Eyrie had approached me. He wore a plain green t-shirt and a pair of faded denim jeans.

     “You are the new Agent?” he asked me, peering at me up and down. I didn’t know who he was.

     “Yeah. I’m Segyx Elsly. Everyone calls me Seg.” I didn’t exactly like my nickname given to me by Levi but it stuck with my co-workers and now I had to live with it.

     “My name is Evander Raines,” the Eyrie said, holding out his hand. “I’m rank two out of the Agents.”

     “Nice to meet you,” I said, shaking his hand. I was really interested now –what the rank two Agent like, considering how Levi acted on a daily basis was she was rank one?

     “I’d just like to congratulate you on joining the Undercover Defenders. We’re quite a prestigious group.”

     “Oh... thanks.”

     “However, I’m truly sorry that you had to get Levi as your partner. I—”

     “You’re making it sound like I’m dead. Right here, y’know. If you have something to say to me, you should say it to my face.”

     I was surprised by the hostility in Levi’s face as she glared fiercely at him. Why would she have something against... scratch that, she has something against everyone, period. Still, she was never usually this aggressive...

     “I’m not afraid to say it to you,” said Evander, glaring back at her. “I was just commenting to Segyx how you’re—”

     “I hope you didn’t come over to lecture me.”

     “—ridiculous, childish, impertinent—”

     “I know, how I’m not meant for the job—”

     “—you’re not even helping your partner adapt—”

     “—something something, irrational, blah, blah blah—”

     “You’re completely incorrigible!”

     Evander let these words burst out from his beak. I looked around the room. No one had even flinched at Evander’s shout. I guess this was just another normal day at the office. Wow.

     Levi sighed. “We already know what I am, Evander, okay? Can you just... I don’t know, go prancing off with your secondly ranked self and leave me alone?”

     If Evander looked angry before, it wasn’t even close to how he looked now – his Eyrie eyes blazed and his well-muscled body tensed as if he was about to attack.

     “I look forward,” he said through gritted teeth, “to the day you fail miserably, Levialy Descot. Only then will you understand everything you believe in is an utter lie.” He stalked off back across the room to his desk, leaving Levi unbothered as she’d been before he had come.

     “He has to use my full name,” she said, shaking her head with disapproval. “He’s so cliché.”

     “Why does he hate you?” I asked Levi curiously.

     “Hate? Nah, he’s just jealous he’s rank two and I’m one.”

     “Really... because from the way he spat out your name before he stormed off, it sounded like he wasn’t very fond of you....”

     “It’s jealousy,” Levi said firmly enough to cause my eyebrows to raise.

     “I highly doubt it,” I insisted. “He has something else against you.”

     “You know, I honestly don’t care what you think. Your doubt is as needed as your idiotic green Mohawk and leather jacket.”

     I glared at her. “You’re a great conversationalist, Levi.”

     “Anytime, partner.”

     Before I could mentally slap myself for saying the wrong thing, Adella appeared behind Levi. The stern desert Gelert looked disapprovingly at the silver Acara, who immediately burst, “Do we have a mission?”

     Adella disregarded the question and asked, “Were you just fighting with Evander again?”

     “No I—”

     “Yes, she was,” I said, cutting Levi off before she could start on some ridiculous cover up, which most likely involved Meepits. It was normal for her to blame something on the Meepits.

     Levi glared at me and Adella said, “I wasn’t going to believe you in the first place anyway, Levi, I know better. I’ll talk to you later about it later. I have a mission for you and Seg.”

     “You mean you’re giving us the first mission?” said Levi loudly enough so the whole room could hear. I knew instantly why she had done this; I could feel Evander’s fierce eyes boring into the back of my head.

     Adella had the same suspicion as me. “Do not goad your colleagues, Levi. By all means I would have given Evander the mission if it had been right for him.”

     Levi stared at Adella innocently. “Why would I do something as awful as goading my colleagues?”

     “Right,” said Adella dismissively, “into my office.”

     Levi, who looked for any excuse to escape paperwork, skipped off cheerfully to Adella’s office. I myself was in such good spirits; I finally had a mission! I could do some good for Neopia. I could prove my worth to the Undercover Defenders! I felt so cheerful that I could skip like Levi but I had a feeling she would punch me in the gut the moment I started. She was weird like that.

To be continued...

 
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