Janet and Jane: The Case of the Missing - Part Two
"What'd you find out?" Jane asked me. I was always better at deducing clues than her, and both of us knew that. We always covered each other's weaknesses like that. And trust me, we have quite a few of weaknesses. Hey, we're not perfect.
"I guess Naia was taken between midnight and one in the morning," I replied. "The kidnapper seems to enjoy fighting and has a cut on their wrist."
"I still don't see how you get all of that from a single clue."
"What single clue?"
Remember when I said that we can't tell anyone that we're detectives? Yeah, well one Neopian knows. That would be Natia. She really isn't part of the whole detective business, but she really wants to be. She was part of the Aisha Thieves. That's how we met. It was a really confusing case and Natia was placed to take the fall. Even though she never really took anything, we really can't let her be a detective with us. In our book, she's a thief.
She didn't have the qualities of a good detective, anyway. You need to be careful, quiet, and intelligent. Natia is the exact opposite of those traits. She had a tendency to get in trouble faster than you can say "mischievous" and was so loud, you can hear us a mile and a half away. I'm not saying she's dumb, too, but she really isn't the brightest star in the sky.
Still, she was smart enough to get into our hide-out no problem. How she found us still made us wonder. One day, we were working on a case and she waltzed into our hide-out with no sign of struggle. We changed our lock about a dozen times, but she still finds her way in. At this point, we just let her in. It's not as irritating.
"Nothing you should be interested in, Natia," I said.
"Still, you know I can help you," she argued.
"Yeah right," Jane responded. We turn to her. "You know--"
Natia looked different. Instead of the blue Aisha we know and tolerate wasn't there anymore. She now had green skin. Two extra ears popped out of her head. A bright red triangle stood right in the middle of her forehead. If it wasn't for the choice of her bright clothes and her hair in her famous two ponytails, we wouldn't believe it was her.
"Natia, what happened to you?" I found myself asking.
"Got painted into Alien," she quickly replied. "You like?"
"Painted? There's no Alien Paint Brush." How could she turn into Alien? It isn't very easy turning into a color like that. "Did you go to the lab ray?"
Now this was strange. How could she turn into Alien without the lab ray? That was one of the very few ways to turn that color. The only other way to turn that color was Naia, and we know that she couldn't have done it.
"So whatcha investigatin' this time?" Natia asked. She began to walk over to the table. Jane and I quickly blocked her path. "Sheesh, you guys are being secretive today."
"That's how we should be every day," I retorted.
"It's like I'm the enemy here. What did I do?"
Jane sighed. "Nothing," the Korbat said. "Is it alright if you go? Janet and I have something to discuss. Detective business."
"But I am a detective."
"You know what we mean. Is it okay if we talk later?"
Natia frowned. She knew we wanted to talk alone. "I see. I'll come back in a few hours."
With that, she left our hide-out. As she left, out of the corner of my eye, I saw she had a cut on her left wrist. If anything, she was a Neopet of her word. When she says she'll leave, she leaves. At least that's good news to us. We couldn't possibly mention this to her.
"Do you think she took Naia?" Jane asked me.
Finally, a theory I agreed with. "It's a definite possibility, but let's not get ahead of ourselves. Innocent until proven guilty, remember?"
"Maybe we should go back to Faerieland," I suggested. "Maybe Queen Fyora has some new clues for us."
"But what about Natia? She'll surely find us." She wasn't wrong. Natia could find anyone in a matter of minutes. We can't have her catch us there -- she'd want to get involved. With her as a possible suspect, that could be a danger.
"I think that's a risk that we have to take." I sighed. "Let's go."
Now that everyone had realized that Naia was missing, all of Faerieland was in a frenzy. In order to blend in, we had to pretend to act like everyone else. We really hated acting as crazy as Barallus, but it was what we had to do.
When we (finally) reached the Hidden Tower, Fyora walked right up to us. It was like she was waiting for us. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if that was the case.
"You didn't tell anyone, did you?" the Faerie asked.
"Not a soul," I answered. "Why, did someone tell them?"
"I'm afraid so. We were able to hide the fact that she was taken, but it leaked out."
"We surely can't get evidence with all the chaos that this rumor caused," Jane murmured. "Did another note come or did you get any clues?"
Fyora didn't say a word. She just bowed her head and shook it slowly.
As we left the Hidden Tower, I pointed Jane to the Rainbow Fountain. She disagreed with my idea for checking there again. I admit, she was right. We wouldn't want Neopets to think we took the Fountain Faerie.
We turned around as soon as we heard the Air Faerie from earlier running up to us. She seemed to have something to tell us.
"What do you want?" I asked, trying to sound as least annoyed as I could.
"I remember seeing something over the past few days. I think it could help the investigation," she said as fast as she could.
We certainly couldn't talk about it in the open. "Let's talk somewhere more... private." I look around the crowded streets. "Too many ears here."
The Faerie led us out of Faerieland -- away from the chaotic streets -- and to a secluded grotto. From the difficult way here, I assumed that not a lot of Neopians knew of this place. This place seemed to be just the right place to talk about something private. I most certainly needed to remember this place for future mysteries. I don't even think Natia could get here.
"What'd you see?" Jane asked as she broke out her notepad and pen.
"Well... It's sort of a blur with everything going on," the Faerie said. She seemed a little hesitant in my eyes.
"That's okay, just tell us what you know," I inform.
"Alright. Over the past few days, I saw an Aisha around the Rainbow Fountain."
"Could you give us a description of the Aisha?" Jane asked before the Faerie continued.
"Oh, yes, of course." As the Faerie finished her sentence, I took out my own notepad and a pencil to draw a picture of the Aisha. "She was Blue. About as tall as you two. She had dirty blonde hair in two ponytails and a bright wardrobe. And she had a cut on her right wrist."
I sketched the Aisha. "Alright. I got it. Is that it for the description?"
The Faerie nodded. "Anyway, she was saying some choice words to Naia about not giving her her dream color. She even threatened to do something about it."
"Alright, thank you," Jane said. "Anything else?"
"Oh yes." The air Faerie took out a folded piece of paper. "This was delivered to the palace today. I didn't look at it, but I assume it's from the same Neopet."
I took the paper so fast from her skinny hand, I practically snatched it. I usually try to be as polite as possible (by orders of Jane), but at this point, I really didn't care. We were desperate -- and the Faerie knew it. She didn't mind that I suddenly gained a shot of rudeness.
"Is that it?" I asked, trying my best not to sound rude.
"I'm afraid so," the Faerie sighed. She began to walk out of the grotto. "If you ever wish to talk to me again, go to Queen Fyora and ask for Sheree."
Sheree. That must be her name.
Once we were sure Alina was gone, Jane and I began to discuss what to do. This was for our ears only. It was the only thing we could do now. Until more evidence or a lead comes up, we're stuck.
"So now what?" the shadow Korbat asked.
"I don't know. Do you think we should bring out the P2?"
P2 is just a fancy way of saying our Petpets. This wouldn't be the first time they helped us on a case. Since they're much smaller than we are, they can get in places we can't. Supra, my glowing Miamouse, is basically our lantern. Alize, Jane's black Alabriss, is perfect for going somewhere we can't, either because we're too big or the area's too crowded.
"Nah, I don't think that's necessary. What does the note say?"
I open up the folded note. Yep, it's the same Neopet -- I could barely read the cursive. Like last time, I gave the note to Jane.
"'Try and keep up the investigation with all the chaos, detectives,'" Jane read. "Our secret's out."
"Great. Just what we need."
Wait, how could anyone know we're working on this? The only one who knows we're working on something is...
"Hey, can I see the sketch that you drew?" Jane asked.
I opened up the notepad I drew the sketch in. What we saw surprised us. It shocked us. It terrified us.
I drew a perfect description of Natia.
To be continued...