Lupe Pack Detectives-The Kidnapped JubJub: Part Two
A couple of days had passed since we started our investigation on the kidnapped JubJub, yet all of our leads had been used up, so we were stuck at a dead end. To make matters worse, the flattened grass trail that Aura had found lead us to a popular local park, meaning that part of the trail had been wiped away by the scores of Neopians using the park for a variety of purposes. Our kidnappers definitely knew what they were doing when they went through the park during the dead of night.
Earlier in the day, around ten-o-clock in the morning, Opren told me that he was going to head over to the Neopian Times to see if there were any similar cases. I simply waved him off from my office because I did not want to be disturbed from my task of sorting out the various boxes that had yet to be unpacked and figuring out if those boxes belonged in my office or somewhere else in our Neohome.
Unfortunately, thanks to the renovations, the majority of our Neohome was just as messy as my office, with a few exceptions, so there was not a lot of wiggle room to safely manoeuvre around. As I went out of my office with two boxes full of notepads, destined for our storage room, I tripped over a box that was slightly jutting out. The boxes ended up flying a few metres and onto the floor, spilling the contents
It was only until after I got up, dusted myself off, and repacked the boxes of notepads that I suddenly realized that there could be a hidden message on the piece of paper that Comet gave me. After I placed the boxes in one of the storage rooms, I went back to my office and got a few sticks of charcoal, along with the note. Then I went to dining room to test my theory out because it was one of the few places in our Neohome that was not cluttered with boxes.
I placed the note underneath a larger piece of paper and began scribbling it hard with a charcoal. Even though the note had been written in marker, I still found a note hidden underneath the ransom note, thus proving my theory right. I was satisfied with what I had found because this was the break in the case that we needed.
“May I ask what you were doing, Blizzard?” a voice asked. I looked up from my work and saw that it was Aura, standing in the doorway, smiling.
“I was just figuring out if there was a hidden message inside the note that Comet gave me. A few seconds ago, I found it embedded underneath the ‘ransom’ note, thanks to a piece of charcoal. After all, when someone is writing on paper with a pen or pencil, especially if it’s on a notebook or a notepad, you’re bound to leave a copy of the writing on at least a couple of pages, even if it’s covered with writing later on” I told her. She came over and read the negative imprint on the piece of paper that I scribbled on.
“Nice work, Blizzard, as that’s one huge clue that we got because we now know a little more about Noel’s kidnappers. All we need now is to find where they are from, and hopefully, that information will lead us to either Noel or his kidnappers.”
“That’s exactly what I was thinking, Aura, and there’s only one place in Neopia that uses codestones. Well, two to be exact, but there’s no mention of any the Red Codestones that the Secret Ninja Training School uses. Seeing as you have the most experience in the Battledome, do you mind heading over to the Mystery Island Training School?” She shook her head, telling me that she did not mind, as she told me that she would get to it right away. Then she left.
Around one-o-clock in the afternoon, Opren came back from the Neopian Times. He met me in the kitchen as I was preparing lunch and told me what he was able to determine from his findings.
“According to my findings at the Neopian Time archives, Noel is the latest JubJub to be kidnapped. Including him, there have been fifty-four JubJubs that have been missing from their Neohomes within the past month or so. Here’s the thing. The majority of those kidnapped are from Neopia Central, but there have been some reported missing from Mystery Island and Terror Mountain. Oh, by the way, I’m going to let you know in advance that there’s another detective agency in Neopia Central that is also working on a couple of cases similar to our kidnapping case.”
“From what you told me so far, this means that our case and the cases that they’re working on are connected. Tell me, were any ransom notes found at any of the crime scenes?”
“I’ve managed to talk to head of Crime-busters, Nut Flakes, a Green Usul, and, yes, his team did find ransom notes at each of the crime scenes. As well, his team also found dried Hissi skin and prints on the window, which makes me believe that our cases were committed by the same guys. What I, along with Crime-busters, don’t get is why two Hissis would go through all this trouble just to kidnap JubJubs. I don’t see the motive.”
“Well, Opren, there are some Neopians out there who view JubJubs differently then the rest of Neopia. It’s basically an insult to a JubJub if you call one ‘a walking furball’ and variations of it, depending on the paint brush colour that was used. In the case of Noel, he probably would have been considered ‘a walking Christmas tree’, although that particular insult could also have been referring to either a Fir or a Wreathy as well. Our kidnappers definitely had the same views as those Neopians, and they’re taking that grudge to another level. There’s your motive right there.” He digested what I said before he left the room.
It was a little bit over two hours later when Aura returned from her trip to Mystery Island and came into my office. I listened to her talk about what the Techo Master told her.
“The Techo Master told me that the two names found on the note have been regulars at the Training School for at least the past couple of months, so he was able to give me a good description of our prime suspects. Drake is a Brown Hissi while his brother, Noah, is a Red Hissi. As well, he told me that he found it strange that they were not used to Mystery Island’s tropical climate. It’s almost as if...”
“...they’re from another region of Neopia, specifically Terror Mountain,” I replied, completing her sentence. She nodded. Then I told her the information that Opren gave me.
After I told her, she placed one of her hands over her mouth and remained deep in thought for a few seconds. Then she left the room. I wondered what she was up to, so I got up from my seat and followed her to our case file room. When I found her, I found her looking through past Petpet Protection League case files. I asked her what was going on.
“I think I know what’s going on. You see, several years ago, Terra the Brown Gelert, Glitter the Silver Acara, and I were sent to the Terror Mountain branch of the PPL to investigate some petpets stolen from one of the villages. Before you ask, yes, Drake and Noah were involved in it. What makes this case interesting is that the stolen petpets were sent to another village with a so-called ancient curse. Apparently, a Snowbeast had to be fed petpets in order to remain happy and not destroy the village. We ended up fining the whole village 50,000 neopoints for petpet cruelty after we found out that they had conspired with the two Hissis on this scheme. As for Drake and Noah, they were fined 25,000 neopoints each and were forced to work at the PPL for one year because we determined that they were the masterminds behind it,” she told me.
“I think I get what you’re saying, Aura. From what you told me and with Opren’s information, I have this bad feeling in my stomach that Drake and Noah might be planning to do something similar with the kidnapped JubJubs. What they’re going to do is utterly ridiculous, but it’s also going way too far. It’s like they’re using them as a scapegoat for their troubles.” She solemnly nodded.
At approximately seven-o-clock in the evening, we gathered in the dining room for our brief meeting. During that meeting we gave each other updates on the situation while Aura told us that she had already sent a Neomail to the head of the Terror Mountain PPL, telling him to expect us in several hours. When the meeting was over, my siblings went upstairs to pack for their trip. However, there was one thing left before we went to Terror Mountain and that was giving Thunder Wave and Comet an update on the situation.
I got up from my seat and took my black trenchcoat off the coat tree. After I put it on, I went straight to Comet and Thunder Wave’s Neohome. Comet answered the door after I knocked on it, asking me what I was doing here.
“I’m here because I need to give you an update on your brother’s kidnapping, Comet. We think we may have a potential lead up at Terror Mountain, so we’re going there in a few to verify it. However, I’m not sure how long we’re going to be staying there, seeing as the weather there can be so unpredictable, so don’t bother with the word-of-mouth advertisement yet, but you will be the first to know when we have our office up and running.” He nodded. As soon as the door closed, I went back to my Neohome.
As I packed the winter clothing needed for the cold, harsh environment of Terror Mountain, I wondered where Noel was and if he was fine. It would be a miracle if we did find him because Terror Mountain was a large place, but deep inside, I knew that we would be able to complete the task, no matter how difficult it would be.
To be continued…