Chronicles of a Caped Crusader: Morphica Begins - Part Six
Judge Hog and Chloe left Vicki's house and returned to the spaceship. They dived back down beneath the surface, but stayed off the coast of Mystery Island. Judge Hog contacted Loraine from the more secure line in the ship.
"Loraine, I need to you look up who owns the abandoned laboratory near the Rock Pool on Mystery Island. I also need you to look up who owned it previously, all the people who worked there in the year before the sale," Judge Hog said.
"Will do, I'll forward you the information as I find it. Are you returning to HQ?" Loraine's voice asked over the ship's computer.
"No, we'll stay here until we decide what the best course of action is," Judge Hog answered.
"Do you think that this 'Colonel' had something to do with the fire?" Chloe asked.
"If my suspicion is correct, our mysterious Colonel bought it. It isn't possible that he came here randomly and accidentally met Veronica. There is no reason why he would have been working at a job like that if he didn't have an ulterior motive. I'm sure that this was part of his scheme. An unstable genius number two with a grudge would be invaluable to someone like that. In fact, since they are out to bring down the Defenders for Captain Nefarious' downfall, he probably pulled Veronica in to revenge Marcus against Vicki. We're dealing with someone very cunning, Morphica, and very vindictive," Judge Hog explained.
"Do you think the other agents are okay?" Chloe asked worriedly. "Why do you think he kidnapped them?"
"They are for now. But when we find him, we'll have to strike hard and fast. As I said, he is very vindictive; he wants me to have to watch them be destroyed by him," Judge Hog explained.
"Okay," Loraine's voice called. "I'm sending the files now. I'm also patching through into a Virtupets satellite over Mystery Island so I can investigate the area before you two have to go check it out. I'll let you know what I find."
They looked over the files. The lab had been owned by Super Splime Shakes originally. They had all kinds of crazy products in the works there. It was a normal laboratory for that company. The original ownership was completely legitimate. Judge Hog pulled up the files of the workers. They started at management and their direct employees and worked their way through those. Veronica's came up soon as a secretary.
"Vicki said he worked there while claiming to be an old colleague of Marcus'. The only way to back up such a claim would be to have been one of the scientists there. Look through the scientists in the department that was run by the manager Veronica was a secretary for," Chloe suggested.
"Good idea," Judge Hog said as he changed the search.
Twenty different profiles came up. He scanned through the names while Chloe watched.
"Wait, stop! That one, Norris Blumfield." Chloe pointed.
Judge Hog opened the profile and asked, "Why him?"
"Norris Blumfield was an alias of the villain in the novel An Evil Plan. I guess even villains like to read novels about villains, although Norris Blumfield was caught in the end. I doubt that this Norris Blumfield is the real deal. Mhm, what an ego, though, to be using that name."
"Loraine," Judge Hog called over the communicator. "We need you to research Norris Blumfield's past."
Chloe looked at the profile. Norris Blumfield was a green Gnorbu of thirty years of age, born on Mystery Island, went to school in Neopia Central, no family, no great accomplishments to note, average intelligence, a good worker, and no history of trouble. It read like the profile of someone who was either very average or who did not to bring much attention to themselves.
"Sorry, Judge Hog, this guy doesn't exist with the exception of his working here. This diploma from the school in Neopia Central must have been a forgery, because they have no records of anyone who could possibly be him. The building was supposedly bought and owned by Shoyrux Enterprises, but I looked through their expenses at that time and they did not spend that kind of money, and they don't list it among their assets," Loraine reported.
"Good catch, Morphica," Judge Hog said. "Loraine, what does the building and the surrounding area look like?"
"Deserted, but considering what we have found, I doubt it is. I'm pulling up the blueprints of the building and sending them to you. They are probably below it," Loraine answered.
The blueprints appeared on the screen. There was a basement below the building.
"They'll be down below the basement, in whatever facility they've built down there. I'm sure they're armed to the teeth. We won't just be muscling our way in and punching their lights out and freeing the agents. It's too bad real life isn't at all like the comics," Chloe said. "Do you have a plan, boss?"
"I might," Judge Hog said thoughtfully. "Loraine, are you listening. We're going to need your help."
"I'm ready, sir," Loraine replied.
"All right, here is the plan."
"Look at that, Veronica. Judge Hog is at our doorstep."
Veronica came over and looked at the monitor.
"How did he find us here?" Veronica asked.
"He must have figured one of us out. It has to be you. My tracks are too well covered, but you worked in this building under your true identity. He might have even talked to Vicki. I really wished you could have controlled your temper and left her out of it. She's such a do-gooder. This building is owned by Shoyrux Enterprises and I made that look very legitimate. He might be hoping you were careless and left a clue behind. We'll ambush him in the basement. Until then, let's watch and listen."
He focused the cameras in on Judge Hog.
"Wait, where is Morphica? Why is he alone? Why would he come here without backup?" Veronica asked.
As if in answer Judge Hog raised his arm and said into the communicator, "All right, Morphica, I'm here."
"Judge Hog, I don't like this. It's a bad idea for you to go in there alone. Please wait and let me come back you up." Morphica's voice came from the communicator.
"No, we can't leave the HQ unattended. There's no way Veronica is still here; that would be ridiculous since the records clearly show that she worked here. She might have left valuable clues behind," Judge Hog said.
"She might have left a trap behind too. We don't even know that this Veronica is the right person. Vicki swore that her daughter wasn't behind it, if she turned in her brother you'd think that she would do the same for her daughter," Morphica protested.
"Morphica, just stay on the line and keep researching other possible leads," Judge Hog replied.
"You're the boss." Morphica sighed over the com.
"Well, what do you know? Your mother covered for you."
"I guess she's good for something after all. She didn't go to them in the first place like I thought she might. I guess Mummy isn't as high and mighty as she claimed she was," Veronica replied.
They watched Judge Hog go down the levels to the basement.
"Get the robots, Veronica, and go bring our guest. After we have finished off Judge Hog and the other Defenders, I'll let you go get Morphica."
The Mutant Acara turned and walked off. He leaned back in his chair and watched Judge Hog address Morphica over the radio again. Then he leaned forward and hit a button on the control panel.
"I'm sorry, but your call has been terminated. Please try again." He chuckled to himself. "Oh, it's finally time. I'll make them pay for what they did to you, Captain. The Defenders of Neopia will fall today."
He got up from his chair in front of the computer. It was time to prepare for his moment of glory. The moment of glory that should have been Captain Nefarious'. It didn't matter who got it though, he was Nefarious' prized pupil, the best and the only one he had ever confided in. He was his successor. It had taken years to get to this point, but those years had been worth it he concluded.
He could hear Judge Hog's voice in the background, "Morphica, come in, Morphica! What the... you!"
Then it was Veronica's voice speaking, "Judge Hog, how good of you to save us the trouble of finding you ourselves. You should have listened to Morphica. Really, I was hoping that you would be a little smarter than this. Coming in here with your back-up miles away, and unable to contact you, and she'll come running to try to help like last time and we'll have you both. It's almost no fun. Oh, well."
The sounds of a struggle were broadcast over the monitor, but there was no longer anyone around to hear them.
To be continued...