The Shade Files - Halloween Nightmare: Part Three
We had been gone for approximately over three hours while we were exploring the tomb and the subsequent battle, yet when we came back, we found ourselves in a slightly altered Neopia. Somehow, during those three hours that we were gone, something drastic must have happened that caused Blizzard to worry about us when we did not return despite Shadow Breeze’s signal earlier.
“Blizzard, what in Neopia is going on right now? I’ve never seen you this worried before,” Aura told her sister.
“Let’s just say that something terrible has happened at the DoN. Right now, the majority of the Neopets working there are acting like Baby Neopets, with the exception of Krawks and Lutaris. We found them like that when we came back from our tour of duty patrolling the streets,” she told us. I told her to show us. She nodded.
With the captured criminals floating behind us, we reached the DoN Headquarters. As soon as I opened the door, I was completely floored at what I saw, which was the DoN acting like they were Baby Neopets because some of them were lying on the floor, sleeping while others were wailing loudly. Suddenly, it made sense to me why the Baby Neopets were kidnapped.
“Yeah, those poor Neopians who were not ‘transformed’ are currently swamped trying to take care of them, and even with the other detectives around, it’s still not enough help. If this gets leaked out to the public, we’re going to be in serious trouble as the DoN will take a severe beating from this incident,” Blizzard replied after we entered the lobby. Nimbus quickly focused his attention towards me.
“Shade, could it have been possible that someone from the DoN is using the Baby Neopets as revenge against the DoN?” Nimbus asked me. I thought about it for a few seconds before telling him that it was possible, but I was not that certain. Nimbus nodded before he left for the Neopian Times, telling us that he would tell the editor in charge to keep our current predicament a secret until the time was right. After he left, we placed the captured Skunk Kyriis in a single room. Aura and I decided to interrogate all of them at once.
“Look, all that we need is the name of the Neopet responsible for this. I’m certain that Judge Hog will reduce your sentence in the DoN dungeons once he puts your words into consideration,” Aura said firmly. They remained silent. I decided to step up to the plate.
“Look, if you guys remain silent, it’s only going to get worse. Not only will you be charged with conspiracy to commit a crime, kidnapping and illegal magic, you’re also going to be charged with crimes against the DoN as soon as we restore the DoN back to normal,” I told them. I could sense them panicking before one of them told us that a former DoN employee was the one responsible for everything that had happened so far. Both of us were satisfied with the answer that we got from them, plus Nimbus’ theory was definitely looking like it was the right one.
As soon as we came out of the room, I told the Neopians who were not busy with the ‘babies’ to assist us in bringing up the Skunk Kyrii employee files and to help us determine who would want to take their revenge on the DoN. It did not take us that long to retrieve the files, but because there were a lot of Skunk Kyriis, both current and former employees, I knew it was going to be a while before we could find the right one.
As expected, it took us well over an hour just to eliminate all of the current employees for obvious reasons and another half an hour just to reduce the number of former employees because they did not have the right motive to commit the crime. Even though it was past midnight, I was still up in my office, trying to determine which of the remaining suspects left was responsible for doing this. Before I knew it, I fell asleep. Considering that it had been a whirlwind of activity, and that was just over the past twenty four hours, I should have seen that coming
I do not know how long I had been sleeping, but I woke up, a little bit groggy, when someone nudged me awake. I saw that it was Nimbus as he smiled and he handed me a cup of Banana Cream Coffee. I silently took it from him and slowly drank it, feeling slight revitalized. As soon as I was finished, I thanked him, returned the cup back, and saw that he looked like he was suffering from severe exhaustion, so I told him to get some rest in the break room. He nodded and left. I was going to tell him about the progress on his theory on the disgruntled employee, but I figured it could wait for a bit.
A few minutes later, a Red Krawk by the name of Ruby came into my office with a piece of paper. I listened to her talk about the information that she had found as soon as she handed the paper to me.
“Agent Winters, I have a strong belief that Agent 5. Forest Knoll, the former top DoN agent, is the one responsible for all the trouble that has happened so far. It seems likely because on the day of his firing, if you were here, you could have heard him complaining about his firing not being fair,” she told me.
“Yeah, I remember that day because that was my first day on job as a rookie agent. If I remember correctly, he did mention that the DoN was acting childish over his firing. Okay, thanks for telling me about him, Ruby. Go over the information again to see why he was fired. In addition, get a couple of detectives over to his Neohome and have them search the premises because we will need a lot more proof in order to get him sentenced,” I explained as I went out of my office. She nodded and left to do her job.
I wanted to know how my friends were coping because I was slightly concerned about them and I wanted to check on them just to make sure, which was the reason why I left my office. Fortunately for me, they were fine, even if they were a little bit sleepy. As soon as I returned to my office, Ruby confirmed to me that Forest was the primary suspect in the case.
“Agent Winters, according to his file, he was lectured several times before being fired by the boss for not following office procedures, which strikes me as odd because his test results tell me that he knew what it would take to become a DoN agent. To tell you the truth, I really don’t know which rule that he broke because there are a lot of rules created by the DoN.”
“I don’t know either, but someone from the PPL might be able to help us narrow that list down because they do enforce a similar rule for office procedures and they did dismiss someone for breaking that rule several years ago. In fact, there are a couple here right now, even though they’ve retired from the PPL to become detectives.” She knew who I was talking about, so she got up and followed me to the lounge.
Upon our arrival, we went up to Aura and inquired about the ‘Operation Petpet Park’ missions. She smiled when she heard that, but she agreed to tell us. When she told us that Yurius, the Skunk Kyrii, who was behind the sabotage, had been fired for not following office procedures, I politely asked her which procedure had been violated. She thought about it for a few seconds before telling us that a pen had been used in the majority of the office procedure violations instead of a pencil. It was after we showed her the file on Forest that she connected the dots together.
“I guess it’s starting to make a lot of sense now. None of the other detectives were here when Forest was fired, and with the information that you gave me just now, I can see why he kidnapped those Baby Neopets. According to the letters that we’ve received, just over two hundred were kidnapped before Halloween, and at least fifty more on Halloween, corresponding to the approximate number of employees here at the DoN. Also, his motive for this crime is revenge for his ‘wrongful’ firing, as my cousin and the Kyriis accurately told us,” she said.
As we were walking back to my office, a Rainbow Lutari intercepted me and whispered in my ear that we had some sort of situation in the lobby with the Neopets that were sent out to Forest’s home. Wondering what the problem was, I ran out to the lobby. I soon found out.
When I arrived, I saw Shadow Breeze and Opren trying their best to explain the situation, without any luck, to somebody. Suddenly, Opren went down, possibly from a kick to the knee, and I could see the Neopet who was giving my friends a hard time, which was a Baby Kyrii. Somehow, Agent Forest must have dumped the Kyrii here because he must have thought that the Baby Kyrii would be too much to handle.
“I should have known that you detectives were behind this nefarious plot to take over the DoN. Well, consider this your last time as a detective because I will personally make sure that you guys will never investigate again,” he screamed at them in a childish voice. I was furious when I heard that because I knew that was what my boss would say to them if he was around. After realizing that it was my boss, instinctively, I grabbed the Kyrii by the collar and held him above the ground.
“Let me go, you scoundrel,” he yelled at me as he was flailing around. I brought him up to my face level.
“I will not. You may view my friends and allies as scum, but to the majority of the DoN, they’re priceless. Without them, we would have been swamped with case files and it would take us longer just to catch the criminals,” I firmly replied, trying my best not to lose my temper. “Besides, you’re barking up the wrong tree because they’re not the ones responsible for your current predicament-it’s a former agent by the name of Forest. Now, do you want us to restore you to your former glory or not?”
He remained silent, so I assumed that he wanted us to help him and the DoN. After placing him in his office and locking the door on him, I held an emergency meeting with the heads of the various detective teams in Neopia Central at one of the conference rooms as I had this instinctive feeling that my boss would proceed with his plan to fire and arrest my friends when he had the chance to do so. As soon as they were assembled, I told them what I suspected what my boss was going to do with them. After telling them the news about the imminent firing, they were surprised before talking among themselves for a few minutes. After their brief explanation, Blizzard came up to me and told me that she would file a case to Judge Hog immediately, explaining the situation.
Now that was settled, I went to Shadow Breeze and asked him what he and Opren found at Forest’s home. He nodded and told me that they found a couple of Brightvale Books dealing with magic, along with several properties that he had owned throughout Neopia. I was impressed with their hard work. All we needed now was to arrest Forest.
To be continued…