Janet and Jane: The Case of the Faked Test Scores: Part Two
Maybe this was going to be a bit harder than I thought.
I had no idea Brightvale University was so big. I knew it was a big campus, but this was much bigger than I predicted. Surely with a campus this big, there were a lot of students that had many different stories. Not to mention the amount of area we had to cover in search of clues.
“So while Jane and Natia are talking to the dean, what do we do?” I asked.
“Why are you asking me?” James asked back.
“You're going to be a detective. You need to know what you're going to do.” I adjusted my hat. “I'm going to let you take the lead on this case. Think of it like a test. Besides, this is my first time here.”
James nodded. The purple Bori understood. “Let's talk to my roommate, Epsilon.”
“He's basically like Nathan here. He's a part of the school newspaper. If he comes across an article that has something that could help us out, he could give it to us before it gets released in the paper.”
Hmm, not a bad idea. I said, “Sounds like a plan, James. Is he going to be graduating with you?”
“Yes, actually. I suggested he work at the printing press where Nathan works. He would like Nathan.”
James led me around the lecture halls and the club buildings and to the dorms. Since it was during a school day, there weren't many students around. There were a few, but not many. We didn't bother talking to them. James wanted to talk to Epsilon first.
“Isn't Epsilon in a class?” I asked.
“He doesn't have classes this week,” James answered. “Quite a few of my friends don't. It's graduation week. The classes they were taking are over.”
Walking through the neighborhood of dorms reminded me of when I first became a certified detective. I didn't come here, but it looked very similar to the dorms Jane and I stayed in. Heh, being Jane's roommate was fun, but trust me. Having her as a roommate was a little irritating (don't tell her I said that).
As we approached a dorm at the end of the street, James pulled out a key. He led me to that dorm and unlocked the door. He let me inside first, then me. Inside the dorm was pretty much similar to the one Jane and I stayed in. The only main difference was that this one had two floors (or an attic. I saw a flight of stairs on the way in.
“Where's Epsilon?” I asked.
“Probably upstairs with Geode, my other roommate,” James answered. He gave a few whistles. “I know they're here.”
It sure sounded like it. I heard a few loud splashes and some sort of chaos come from upstairs. James and I went up the stairs and to what I assumed was a bathroom. I was curious what was going on in there. Since I was positive that the two were doing something in there, I opened the door.
I saw a speckled Wocky and a silver Kacheek kneeling around the bathtub. Something was in there. There was a lot of splashing in the tub. A lot of soapy water was on the floor. Two sudsy figures hopped out of the tub and charged at us. The Kacheek tried to grab them when they hopped out, but he slipped and fell in the bathtub.
I looked down at the figures that were now at our feet. There was a Slorgclops and a Warf, both covered in suds. Both seemed really happy to see us. The Wocky, though, wasn't exactly happy.
“James, you know we were giving our Petpets a bath today,” he whined. His eyes met mine. “Oh, who are you? I don't recall seeing you around the campus, even if it is pretty big.”
“She's not a student,” James answered for me. “Remember the internship I've been participating in? This is Janet, one of the detectives I've been working with for the last several months.”
“This is her? I expected her to be older. She looks around your age.”
“I am around his age,” I said. “Believe it or not, James is a year older than me.”
“Well she has that attitude you said she had.” The Wocky got up from the floor. “The name's Geode. Pleasure to finally meet you. James spoke highly of you.”
The Kacheek (who I would assume was Epsilon) popped out of the tub, covered in suds, and walked right to me. “And I'm Epsilon. I've been wanting to meet you for a while now.”
“It's true,” James said to me. He looked down at the Petpets at our feet. “The Slorgclops belongs to Geode and his name is Quill. The Warf is Epsilon's and his name is Flop.”
“Flop?” I asked. I let that pass over my head and I continued the conversation.
Before I could do that, Geode then said, “Janet, why are you here? Didn't James tell you about–”
“He told me,” I interrupted. “You two are his roommates. You know he wouldn't do something like that. We know that, too. So we're looking for the Neopet who framed James.”
“Ooh, you are?” Epsilon squeaked. “Can I write about this and put it in the school paper?”
“No. Jane and I prefer to keep our business private.” I looked at the clock in the hallway. “I need to meet up with Jane, actually. You two could come along if you would like.”
Geode and Epsilon both agreed to come with us to meet with Jane and Natia. James led us to the admissions building. Both Geode and Epsilon agreed that James knew the campus better than the two of them combined. Even though he got lost on occasion (yes, James actually got a bit lost on the way to the admissions building).
Once we made it to the admissions building, we had to go through this security checkpoint thing. James told me it was because of a few Neopets who thought it would be funny to pull a prank on the school. He told me what the prank was and I told him it was more of a threat than a prank. If that ever happened to me, I wouldn't take it as a joke (and apparently, the school didn't take it as a joke, either).
It didn't take as long as I thought it would to find Jane and Natia. Well, they more or less found us. It really didn't matter who found whom – as long as we found each other, I was happy.
“Who are these two?” Jane asked.
“Jane, these are my roommates, Geode and Epsilon,” James answered, pointing at each Neopet when he said their names. “Geode, Epsilon, this is Jane and Natia, the other Neopets I've been working with.”
“Ah, such a pleasure to meet you,” Geode said kindly. “James told us a lot about you.”
“Yeah!” Epsilon squeaked. “I've been wanting to meet you for a while now!”
“What did the dean say?” I asked, breaking us from the introductions.
Jane looked at a pile of papers in her hands. She went through them. “Well, the dean agreed with me. He doesn't believe that James took the test scores,” the Korbat said without making eye contact.
“Then why did he expel me?” James asked.
“Because he had to. Evidence is against you, James. Nobody saw who did it, there weren't security cameras, your name was even on it. In your handwriting, too. It doesn't help that you got a perfect score on the test.”
That confused James. The purple Bori tilted his head. “Perfect score? That's impossible. I know I got at least a few wrong. Let me see the test.”
“That's not in my department. You can ask the staff if you could see it.” Jane walked away. “Come on, Natia.”
Natia followed her. James began to walk in a different direction. I had no trouble keeping up with him, but Geode hesitated to follow us so he had to hurry to catch up to us.
“Where's Epsilon?” I asked.
“He went of with Jane and Natia,” Geode answered. “If you don't mind, I would like to tag along with you two.”
James smiled. “Of course I don't mind,” he said. “Do you, Janet? I know you're not exactly a fan of others tagging along.”
It was true, I didn't like others tagging along so much. That was why I was very hesitant about letting Natia help us out at first (of course, now she is more than welcome to join us on whatever random adventure we go on). Though now might be a good time to let James decide if he should join. If he wanted Geode to come along, then he could come along.
“I told you. I'm going to let you take the lead on this case,” I told James. “If you think it's a good idea to let Geode come with us, then it's alright with me.”
The Bori tilted his head in confusion. “This isn't like you.”
“I'm making this into some sort of test, letting you call the shots. I told you this already. Trust me, any other time, I would be taking the lead.” I crossed my arms. “No what, James?”
I never really put that much responsibility on James when he was an intern. Jane did it more often than I did. This might be a little weird for him – It was honestly a bit weird for me. I liked being the one in charge. Since I was letting James be the leader, I wasn't in charge anymore.
“Alright. I see how it is,” James said officially. “Geode, you can come with.” He looked at me. “And Janet, the three of us are going to look at my test.”
To be continued…