Janet and Jane: The Case of the Targeted Heiress: Part One
How long could it possibly take for Natia to finish a game of Dice-a-Roo? She must have really liked that game to play it for thirty minutes straight. I could barely play it for thirty seconds. Just rolling dice was too simple for me. It requires no skill at all. I rather preferred puzzles.
Which was precisely why Jane, Natia, and I were here.
J2 was hired for yet another case. This time, we were on Roo Island. I used to love coming here when I was a little kid. Although, those days were gone now. I did like all of the fun activities here, but I didn't drone on them. Natia...
"Hold on! Hold on! I'm sure I'll get a level up this roll!" the Aisha exclaimed.
Jane and I rolled our eyes. This was the eighth time we tried to pull her away from this game. I said, "Natia, we're already late."
She threw down her die. "Aw, nothing happened."
"That's it," Jane groaned. "We're going." The shadow Korbat grabbed the fabric of Natia's bright orange dress and began to pull her away from the stand. She tried to run back to the colored dice.
"No! My Neopoints!" she cried.
"Neopoint," I corrected. "You can play later. Can we at least check in?"
"It's the least we could do without being fired," Jane informed.
"I guess," Natia groaned. She stopped trying to get back to the stand and walked besides us. Who knew an Alien Aisha could love a Luck and Chance game so much? Yes, they could be addicting, but this? This was just rediculous! Almost to the point of hysterical.
We slowly approached the Neohome. Well, it wasn't really a Neohome -- more or less of a Neo-mansion. It was indeed impressive -- pretty big, on a hill, nice view, pretty foliage -- it reminded me of a hotel Jane and I stayed in once. Either our client was wealthy or was housesitting. To be honest, I hoped it was the first one (it meant better pay).
On arriving to the front door, I knocked on it. Since there was no answer, I knocked again. And again. And again. It was then I realized there was a note taped to the door (I was knocking right next to it, too). I took it off the door and read it. It was written in cursive. I didn't really understand cursive, but I managed to read it without having too much of a trouble.
"Thank you three for coming. I can't come to the door at the moment. I'm busy in the library in here. The door is open, but please lock it on the way in. Meet me at the study. I must talk to you immediately," it said.
"Our client says the door's open," I informed. I grabbed the knob, turned it, and pushed it in. It opened. "And our client was right."
"Though if our client was as nervous as he said he was in the first letter we got, why would the doors be unlocked?" Jane asked.
"He knew we were coming at around this time," I informed.
I held my hand up -- a signal of ours. If one of us ever did this, it meant stop talking. It was better than hissing "Shhh!" or just saying "be quiet". You never knew if you were being watched in this profession. I doubted that we were being watched, but I had just gotten so used to the signal.
The three of us marveled at the inside. It was a grand hall with two staircases that lead up to the second floor hall that looked absolutely amazing. In the center of the hall ceiling was a huge chandelier. There was a web of other hallways leading away from here, but this was probably the biggest.
"Wow," was all I could possibly say. "Just, wow."
"Where is our client?" Natia asked. This slightly bugged me. Natia really wasn't a detective like Jane and I. She did help us out on some cases, though. Now would be a good example. Wherever Jane and I went for a case, Natia wasn't that far behind. We didn't really mind her, anyway (as long as she didn't cause that much trouble).
"The note said he was in the study," Jane informed.
"And how on Neopia are we supposed to find the study?" I asked.
Jane glared at me. She hated it when I got all smart like this. "Janet, now is not the time."
"Now is never the time for you," I retorted. "You know I have to be like this at some point."
"I know, but can we at least find our client without making it more difficult than it has to be?"
I gave a quick whip of my black tail and snickered. "No promises."
I didn't even need to look behind me to see the shadow Korbat roll her eyes. That was a common thing for her to do. I don't know why, though. Yes, she didn't like it when I was rude (who did?), but she knew me for so long. She should expect it by now.
Anywho, we wandered around the mansion, being careful not to get lost (try and guess how that went). If we were to roam around a huge place like this to meet someone we never met before, could we at least have a map? I was going to have to ask our client that when we meet him.
When we finally came across the study, we thought our client left. Then again, how could we tell? There were shelves and shelves lining the walls and littering the floor space, each one packed with books. There were desks and tools and tables. I almost thought we went into a library.
"Is that J2?" we heard a voice ask. It was from a girl, most likely about our age. This really was surprising to us, since most of our clients are older than us. Don't get me wrong -- it'll be nice having a client our age, but only if this is a serious case. The reason why most of our clients are older than us is because those our age hire us for something silly like finding their Warf (this actually happened to us before). "I'm coming!"
A frantic set of footsteps came towards us. When our client saw us, she smiled brightly. She was a white Usul with light pink eyes. Blonde hair reached down to the middle of her back and a turquoise, strapless dress went down to her feet. A white Meowclops was on her shoulder. I could tell that she did her best to look nice in front of us.
"I'm so glad that you three are here. Did you get lost in my Neohome?" she asked kindly.
"Well, yes, but we were also sidetracked," Natia answered.
"If you call playing ten rounds of Dice-a-Roo straight sidetracked," I quietly snickered to myself. Because of my remark, Jane elbowed me. I rubbed my now sore side. Alright, I guess I deserved that.
"It's okay. I'm just glad you three are here." The Usul began to walk to a desk and pulled out a sheet of paper from a book. I assumed it was for us. "I'm not sure who I should trust these days and I don't know what to do about it."
"You don't?" Jane asked. "What's the problem?"
"I have reason to believe that I'm targeted."
Targeted? We knew what that meant, and it wasn't good. The meaning could vary, but it usually meant to... How could I put it... Let me put it as, "take care of them", "keep them quiet", or the classic, "off them". This was the first time we were assigned to a client that was targeted. The job has not been done yet and we can't do much if nothing happened.
"Well, do you have any ideas on who or why you may be targeted?" I asked.
"I have a feeling that the Sway may be after me, but I can't tell who just yet," the Usul answered.
"Why would the Sway be after you?" Natia asked.
"It's because of our wealth." The Usul began to uneasily pace the room. "They want us to join their faction so they could fund their plans for who know what. We didn't want to join, but they kept asking and asking and demanding and demanding!" She held her head. I didn't know if this was just me, but her hands began to slightly glow a light blue. "We kept saying no, but they wouldn't listen!"
That was when things got weird. Stuff began to float. Books, chairs, stationery, pencils, pens, even Alize and Supra, who were in my bag. This really freaked us out. We didn't know what was happening or how to stop it.
"What's going on?" Jane asked nervously.
The white Usul looked around at what was happening. The items then suddenly dropped. I managed to catch Supra and Alize before they hit the ground.
"I am so sorry. My powers tend to get out of hand when I'm scared and nervous," the Usul apologized.
She was magic? Oh, this job was going to be a fun one.
"We didn't know you were magic," Jane informed.
"Well, I didn't want to mention it until you three got some information so I wouldn't scare you off." The Usul looked down. "To be honest, you weren't the first ones I hired."
I remembered what she said earlier. I decided to change the subject and I said, "What do you mean by 'us'? You seem to be the only one here."
The Usul looked down at her feet. Her Meowclops tried to cheer her up by nuzzling her cheek. "It's my brother," she finally said. "He lived with me, but he went missing a week ago." Her hands tightened up into fists. "I just know the Sway had something to do with it." She looked back up at us. "That's why I'm so nervous. I would be fine if he was here."
"What's your brother's name?" Jane asked. It had absolutely nothing to do with the investigation, but she still wanted to know. I didn't blame her -- I wanted to know, too.
"His name is Xavier. My names is Mae," the Usul said. She stepped towards us. "Are you three still going to help me?"
Did she really need to ask that? Of course we were still going to help her. I stepped towards her, held out my hand, and said, "We got the case."
"You can leave it to us," Natia added.
"Just tell us where to start," Jane finished.
I could see the happiness in her eyes well up. Or were they tears? Either way, she was happy and we could tell. "Thank you," was all she could say. She did not hesitate to shake my hand. "Thank you three so much!"
"You may want to thank us after we catch who's after you," I informed. "Now let's get to work."
To be continued…