The Shade Files-Halloween Nightmare: Part Four
As we were fully aware of Forest’s expertise in magic, we knew that it would be a complete disaster if we attempted to arrest him right now. We were not certain how skilled he was in magic, but we knew that sending in Shadow Breeze by himself was completely out of the question unless we wanted him badly injured. We were in a bit of a pinch until Aura suggested that we should let Shadow Breeze train us. All of us thought that having some sort of magic knowledge was an excellent idea.
Sensing the urgency, Shadow Breeze taught us the basics, along with a few advanced spells, to the best of his knowledge, warning us as he was training us that it would take a lifetime just to master all of the spells. As soon as he was satisfied with the results, he opened up a portal.
“Okay, as soon as we are out of the portal, be alert and keep your guard up at all times. As well, keep an eye out for anything suspicious or out of the ordinary,” I told the crew as I handed everyone Virtupets walkie-talkies. They nodded.
Aura, Nimbus and I were the first to enter the portal, seeing as we had already experienced the feeling several hours ago. As soon as we went through the portal, we looked around to determine where we were while waiting for the other detectives to arrive here safely. It looked like we were in an abandoned ski chalet or hotel, and judging by the fierce snowstorm raging outside, we were somewhere on Terror Mountain.
“This is definitely the sort of place where one would hide a laboratory, seeing as it is probably in the middle of nowhere and it’s large enough to hold something like that. Not only that, it definitely has this abandoned feel,” Nimbus dryly commented.
As soon as Shadow Breeze came out of the portal, he promptly closed it. Then I proceeded to split the large group up into three teams, each of the teams headed either by me, Nimbus, or Aura. Once the groups were formed, Aura’s team headed upstairs while Nimbus lead his down to the basement, leaving my team to explore the main part of the ski chalet.
As we were exploring, my team found nothing that would help us determine where Forest was, although Terra did confirm to us that this was indeed an abanonded ski chalet just by looking over the guest book. Seeing as we had nothing else to do, we took a seat on the dusty floor and waited for the others to return or least report something to us. As soon as I took my seat, sighing in disappointment, my Virtupets walkie-talkie crackled.
“Shade, it’s Nimbus. I’m letting you know that my team has found something in the basement that’s of high importance. Mind coming down here as quickly as you can? Oh yeah, we found Agent Forest and placed him under our watch.” I was happy to hear that news, so I told him that I was on my way, leaving Terra in charge.
As soon as I came down to the basement, I saw two detectives blocking the entrance to one of rooms. When they saw me arriving, they allowed me to enter. I was surprised at what I saw in that room because I was expecting something similar to what a mad scientist would work in. Instead, it was clean and tidy, thanks to a machine with the Virtupets logo stamped onto it. I suspected that this was the machine used to switch the minds of the DoN with the Baby Neopets. As I was scanning the room, I noted that Nimbus was writing something down in his notepad and Forest in one corner, under the watchful eye of Shadow Breeze. In order to talk to him, I crouched down in order to face him at an even level and politely asked him why he did it. He looked away before replying
“All I wanted was to have my old job back because it was the only job that I had, but with every rejection letter that I got back from the same Sloth’s minion that unjustly fired me left me more and more bitter. I guess my emotions got the best of me, and now that I think about it, I guess I should have taken out my anger at that particular Neopian rather than the entire DoN because they were never involved in this battle at all. Looks like that will be one of the things that I will be thinking about when I’m serving my time down in the DoN dungeons,” he told me. Even thought Forest never mentioned my boss by his name, I knew who he was referring to because he did act like he was a minion of Doctor Frank Sloth, Neopia’s most infamous villain.
“So what did that Sloth’s minion fire you for?”
“To tell you the truth, he fired me for a different reason that what was written down in the official termination statement because his reason doesn’t exist in the DoN rulebook. He just doesn’t seem to understand that I have an ill sister that I need to take care of, so I cannot remain on call at Headquarters all the time just because I was the best agent.” Again, I managed to connect the dots together with his statement and what I remembered.
While I was interviewing him, I noted that his eyes were telling me the truth as they were shifted to one side, a good indicator that he was recalling something. Shadow Breeze must have somehow sensed his honesty as well because he suddenly left, telling that he was going to check on the other teams. After he left, I simply told Forest that I could possibly help him if he restored the DoN back to normal and returned the stolen Baby Neopets back to their families. He nodded, telling me that he understood.
Forest was brought back to the DoN so that he could restore the DoN’s minds. After that was completed, he destroyed the machine as a precautionary measure so that no one would find it and use it to his or her advantage. When he came back from destroying the machine, he was taken to Judge Hog’s office to see how long he would spend in the DoN dungeons. I did not want to see him suffer any more than he had to, so I convinced Judge Hog to reduce his sentence. When he was taken down to the dungeons, Blizzard and I each submitted a case file for Judge Hog to look over. He told us that he would have an answer for the both of us in three days’ time. Both of us understood that he needed some time to read the files over and investigate the claims that I had written in my report, but it made me somewhat nervous as we did not have an answer immediately.*****
When the LPD, representing the other detectives, Forest, and myself returned to Judge Hog’s office after those three days, he was busy sorting out another case with a DoN agent, so we had to wait. It was the longest wait that I had experienced in my entire life as I was not sure what his answer would be yet, but I hoped that it would be stacked in our favour.
My nervousness increased when I saw my boss coming down the hallway, smiling and carrying a large stack of reports. As I had suspected on the day after Halloween, I knew that he was going to file his false reports against my friends. However, he stopped dead in his tracks when he spotted us, so he came up to me.
“What are those low-life scumbags doing here and shouldn’t you be on duty?” he hissed.
“Oh, let’s see, boss, I am on duty, probably because Forest has yet to be sentenced for what he did. We haven’t told Judge Hog yet, you know,” I quickly lied to him.
After the DoN agent, a Blue Kacheek, came out of Judge Hog’s office, Judge Hog saw my boss and ushered him in. We were slightly crestfallen that he had cut the line ahead of us until Judge Hog came back and told us to come in.
As soon as the door was closed and we were seated, my boss handed his reports over to Judge Hog. He looked over them for a few seconds before promptly tossing them into the recycling bin, surprising the Kyrii.
“You know, Cayenne, all of the personnel that you want terminated are valuable assets to the DoN, so I cannot allow you to fire them on a non-existent and lousy charge. In addition, I was fully aware that someone had been forging my signature for quite some time on numerous reports and several important documents, which includes the dismissal of a top DoN agent. I wasn’t sure who it was until Agent Shade Winters told me in his report that you were the culprit.” My boss quickly denied that he was not the one responsible for forging his signature until Judge Hog pulled out all of the files that my boss had written in the past from his desk. At that point, my boss suddenly faltered when he saw them. I was happy upon seeing that the judge had done his due diligence and had taken my allegations seriously.
“Cayenne, not only did you abuse your power by firing an agent on a non-existent charge and covering it up with another charge, you violated my trust when you decided to forge my signature. For your actions and abuse of power, I have decided that as of today, effective immediately, I am relieving you from your duties. I have also decided that your replacement will be Agent Forest Knoll, the Neopian that you unjustly fired. Detective Blizzard, take Cayenne down to the dungeons. I will decide how long you will spend in the dungeons later as I still need some time to calculate it, based on the information given,” he continued. Blizzard got up from her seat and placed handcuffs on my boss. As the handcuffs were being placed, he glared at me.
“I cannot believe that of all people, you would lie to me, Agent 10,” he snarled.
“I lied to you because I wanted to protect my friends from your wrath if I had told you the truth, which was that we were bringing you to justice. Knowing you, if you had heard that from us, you would have done everything in your power to stop that from going ahead because you only wanted to protect your reputation and/or your job,” I firmly replied as I motioned Blizzard to take him away. As he was being dragged away, he began screaming that he’d get his revenge on me and my friends, but I simply ignored it. Threats from him would not bother me that much now that he was out of the way.
After the din died down, Forest got up from his seat, smiling. He thanked me for returning him back to the DoN. I could tell that this was a different Neopian than the one that I met four days ago. After all, his life had been shattered when he had been unjustly fired, so I was glad that I was able to help him return to the DoN for his second tour of duty.
“It’s been my pleasure helping you clear you name, to a certain extent, Forest, er, no, Agent Knoll. When you come out of the dungeons in a couple of weeks, I look forward to working with you.” I replied. He told me that he was also looking forward as well before walking back to the dungeons, calling me Agent Winters instead of Agent 10. Thanks to that gesture, I was starting to like my new boss.