Janet and Jane: The Case of the Museum at Midnight - Part Two
"Why do you need our help?" Natia asked.
"Look, it's very complicated," the ghost replied. "I'm the ghost of the museum and I've been noticing things moving around and disappearing without me doing anything."
"So you're haunting the museum? Do you have a choice?" I asked.
The ghost shook his head. "No. I chose to stay here." The Ixi flew around the exhibit. "I always loved this place and wanted to protect it." He stopped in front of us again. "Though, I fear that I may not be enough. I don't even know what's been going on!"
He seemed to be telling the truth. Sincerity was all over his voice, but that could easily be faked with enough practice. Then again, that is for Neopets that are alive.
"Even if you are telling the truth, why'd you tell us now and not earlier?" Jane asked.
The Ixi avoided eye contact. "I've never been good around a bunch of Neopets, even when I was alive. I'm more active when isolated or close to it, like now. Besides, do you really think the visitors would take kindly to a ghost?"
He did have a point. Neopets really didn't like ghosts (you saw us run away from the Ixi). His story added up and it made sense. I guess he was telling the truth. Still, some questions remained unanswered.
"Let me ask this again. Why do you need our help?" I asked. "Why can't you do it on your own? You are a ghost, after all." Jane glared at me. I was beginning to get rude again. She always had a problem with my rudeness. It's not like I was purposely being rude. I was just that way because of a little thing I'd like to call exhaustion.
"You guys are detectives. I've never dealt with something like this. Please help me and I'll make it worth wile," the Ixi answered.
Should we? We never took a job from a ghost before. Normally, our clients and we work together. With a ghost...
"We'll do it," Jane quickly said. " Ghost--"
"Jonah. My name is Jonah," he quickly interrupted.
"Alright, Jonah. We'll take the case, but we may have a little trouble coming in every day."
"Don't worry about that. Just leave it to me."
"You sure about that?" Natia asked.
Jonah nodded his head. "I have my ways. Don't worry about it, alright?"
"Alright, I guess," I answered. "Could you show us the way out?"
"I can do that easily. Thank you so much for helping me out," Jonah said as he was floating off to the door. "Now come on. Let's get out of here."
"How are we supposed to get into the museum? All the tickets are sold out," Natia whined.
"Jonah said that he would take care of it," I replied. He had better take care of it.
"Even if we get in, what are we supposed to be on the lookout for?" Jane asked.
I shook my head and pinched two of my fingers on the bridge of my nose. Jane had been working with me for so long, she knew that this meant "I don't know". After my gesture, I looked in my bag to see if the P2 unit was doing well. Supra and Alize were just fine being in my bag. They never really had a problem with being in my bag.
Wait, did I just see... No, couldn't be. I reached into my bag and pulled it out. So I did see it right. There were three tickets in my bag. I guess Jonah knew what to do after all.
"Looks like we have our way in," I announced. "Now come on, before the line gets too long."
I ran in front of my friends. I was always the fastest, but Jane had an advantage over me -- she can fly. It's hard to compete with wings unless I was to be painted Faerie, and I'm content with my current Shadow color.
Once we were in the museum, we were supposed to... Well... I didn't know what we were supposed to do. We usually would devise a plan before we investigate, but we didn't get the chance to do that. When we left the museum, we just went home and hit the hay.
"Janet! Jane! Natia!"
We turned our heads to see Barry running towards us. He looked worried -- very worried. The look in his eyes spoke volumes -- as if his face didn't do that already.
"What's wrong, Barry?" I asked.
"Some weapons from the weapons in the Historic Weapons wing are missing!"
"What?" I almost shouted.
"Come with me! I'll show you!"
Barry grabbed my wrist and pulled me to the wing. Once I was there, I gawked around. The walls, once lined with weapons, showed blotches of light beige between weapons. Some podiums were bare. Glass cases were no more than shards scattered onto the floor.
"What do you want us to do?" Jane asked.
"I don't know," Barry sadly sighed. "Maybe you three could help me clean up the mess?"
"No!" I quickly yelled after he finished. "This is a crime scene! We can't clean it up! There's evidence here!"
Barry stared at me and tilted his head. He said, "How would you know that?"
I didn't expect that question. Good thing I had an answer that would work for almost all of this type of stuff. Without any sign of hesitation, I answered, "I like to read mysteries." It wasn't a lie. I do like to read and solve mysteries. That's why I became a detective in the first place.
"I think that we should just close the wing until someone comes to examine the area," Jane suggested. "Barry, do you want to check and see if anything else is missing?"
The green Acara quickly nodded. "Good idea. Do you need help?"
"No, we got it," Natia responded. "You go ahead."
Barry quickly ran out of the hall. Wow, that worked better than I expected. Jane and Natia closed all the entrances and locked them. Now we could investigate the scene.
One thing I noticed was all the blunt weapons were stolen. The swords, the spears, the daggers, they were untouched. The entire defense area of the hall was completely ignored. Why all the blunt stuff? I didn't see the usefulness of clubs, staffs, and hammers outside of the Battledome.
"See what I mean?"
Jonah appeared in front of us with a worried look on his face. The ghost appeared to be afraid (huh, that's a new one). He floated over the baring wall and said, "I told you stuff has been disappearing."
"I see what you mean," Jane replied as she examined the now bare spots on the wall. "I don't see any signs of any clues."
"I wouldn't say that," I argued as I put on a latex glove and picked up a piece of fabric. "Come here."
The three crowded around me. Jonah and Jane knew why this piece of fabric was important. Natia? Well...
"What's so important about a simple piece of fabric?" the Aisha asked.
"This is a piece of fabric from the uniforms here at the museum. This means it was an inside job," I explained.
"Oh. Anything else?" Though the questions were annoying, it was nice to see that Natia was interested.
I placed the fabric in a plastic bag and answered her. "Well, it'd have to be after midnight, since we left at that time and were pretty close to this wing. Right, Jonah?"
"Well, yes, but it's hard to hear something from where we were in here," was his reply. "I guess that lead is better than nothing."
"Maybe we should get out of here before Barry comes back or goes looking for us," Jane suggested.
After she said that, Jonah vanished. I guess he really didn't like the idea of leaving the room (or to interact with the Acara. One or the other). Even after he was gone, we heard him say, "If I want your attention, I'll move something."
Alright, I guess. Jane, Natia, and I left the hall, locking the doors behind us. Now that we were out of that hall, we could maybe look around to see if anything else was missing. Maybe Barry knew if anything else was missing. Where was Barry, anyway? I thought he would be back here by now.
Maybe the receptionist knew where he was. While Jane and Natia walked around, I went to the Help desk. The receptionist was a red Ruki with curly blonde hair and a pair of glasses. She was reading a book. I guess it was a slow day for her.
"Excuse me, miss," I said as politely as I could. "I'm looking for someone."
She looked up from her book. "Oh, who are you looking for?" the Ruki asked.
"His name is Barry. He works here."
The Ruki looked at me like I had two heads. "Sorry, but there's nobody here named Barry."
Now I looked at her like she had two heads. "There isn't?"
She shook her head. "Could you describe him for me? Maybe you got the name wrong."
I know I didn't get the name wrong, but I described him like the Ruki wanted. "He's a bit taller than me. A green Acara. His right horn is bent up and there's a scar over his left eye."
"Nope, sorry. Nobody who works here looks like that."
That was indeed strange. Barry said he worked here. He had the uniform. He looked like a worker here. Maybe the Ruki just forgot about him. I mean, there were literally dozens of workers here at the museum.
As I was pondering this, Jane and Natia ran up to me. I could tell they both had something on their minds (no doubt that they'll tell me no matter what I do).
"Janet, we can't find Barry anywhere," Jane said nervously.
"You can't?" I asked.
Natia shook her head and added, "We even asked around. Nobody saw him."
That certainly was strange It seemed like Barry didn't exist. Certainly he did, right? Right?
"Alright, that's not normal. I mean, he's noticeable," I argued. "I talked to the Ruki and--"
"And what?" Jane interrupted.
I quickly changed my mind about telling them what the Ruki told me. "N-nothing," I answered. "It's nothing."
To be continued...