Janet and Jane: The Case of the Monster Hunter
The rain pounded against the roof, causing a constant pitter-patter to echo through the rooms and hallways. An occasional white-hot flash went through the land, followed by a loud boom of thunder. It sometimes got so close that it caused some of the objects on my table to vibrate for a second or two. The vibrations going through each object almost made one or two things fall off the table.
This was what I got when I decided to work late. Jane, Natia, and James all went home several hours ago. I told them I wanted to stay and work on things related to the crime ring that my mom and dad were working to get rid of. I wasn't getting very far. I didn't know if it was because I didn't have enough information right now or if it was because I needed sleep. No matter, I assumed it was a mix of the two. Because of those two reasons, I was getting frustrated.
Yet still I continued to work. I was yawning almost every five minutes. If I wasn't careful, I was going to fall asleep on my work. I think I did doze off once or twice, as I remembered Supra squeaking in my ear once my head was on the desk when I didn't remember putting my head down. I was starting to get a headache. But I needed to keep working.
Though a break might be what I needed.
I got up out of my chair and went to the break room (if you consider a room with a toaster, a refrigerator, and a pantry full of snacks a break room, that is). Once there, I went through the cabinet of snacks. I instantly spotted a pack of Coffee Candy. Just what I needed. I grabbed that with no hesitation, opened the pack, and popped two of them in my mouth. I might need more of a snack, though. Those candies wouldn't satisfy me.
Just as I looked through the fridge, there was a knock at the door. Who could that be? It must be Jane. Whenever I did these all-nighters, she often checked on me at around two in the morning to make sure I didn't fall asleep here. If I was still here, she would then talk me into going home and getting sleep. I never put up much of a fight during those conversations since I was usually half asleep. Though, something told me that wasn't Jane. She had a key to this place. If it was her, she would just come right in.
The knocking continued after five minutes of ignoring it. Ugh, this wasn't helping the headache I was fighting. At least it was going away with the caffeine from the Coffee Candy. Not fast enough, in my opinion. Whoever was there was determined to see if anyone was here. I personally would have left by now (especially since it was pouring outside). The knocking was sure to continue until I answered the door.
I put two more Coffee Candies into my mouth as I walked to the door. The knocking only seemed to get louder and more urgent as I got there. I knew I wasn't very far from the front door, but it was getting extremely loud. Each pound on the wood matched a pound that was in my head. I was too tired to be suffering from this.
I couldn't have gotten to that door fast enough. The moment I could, I opened the door. I was right about it not being Jane. It was a yellow Wocky. He was soaked. It looked like he wasn't prepared for the storm that he was forced to endure while waiting for me. The funny part was that he wasn't even a stranger.
“Kell, what on Neopia are you doing here?” I asked.
“Getting soaked to the bone,” he replied in a somewhat snappy tone. “May I please come in?”
I nodded and moved out of the way so he could get out of the rain. “There are a few towels inside you can use to dry yourself off.”
He didn't hesitate to come inside. “Thank you.”
I shut the door and led him down the hallway. “Seriously. Why are you here? It's raining Kads and Warfs outside, it's almost two in the morning, not to mention that there was the chance that I wouldn't be here.”
“I just really needed to talk to you and this is the only place I would think you would be at.” He sighed. I was about to ask when he changed the subject. “Why are you here this late, Janet?”
“I'm working late again.” I yawned and put in the last Coffee Candy in my mouth. “This is the third time this week.”
“Yeah, I wasn't going to comment, but you [i]do[/i] look tired.”
I got back on topic. “You said you had to talk to us?”
Kell shook his head. “Not you guys. Just you.”
That was a bit strange. “Why not all of us? I would at least assume you wanted to talk to Jane as well.”
Considering that he got along better with Jane than with me, I was a little astonished. Kell and I haven't had a good history. We disagreed, we argued, we fought, you get the idea. I was concerned that we would argue. However, Kell doesn't seem to want to argue at the moment. He actually wanted to talk to me about something. Besides, I was too tired to argue at the moment.
“As to why I just want to talk to you,” Kell went on. “I want to keep it a secret from Corbin. If I tell Jane or Natia or James, they'll talk to Corbin.” The Wocky looked at me. “I know you can keep a secret. What I tell you will stay in between us, right?”
I nodded. “I will take it to my grave if I have to,” I answered. And I intended to do that. “Whatever you want to talk about must be pretty serious if you don't want your own brother to know.”
“It's just a sensitive topic between us.”
I remembered there were some towels in the bathroom. We were rather close to it, so I went in and grabbed a few towels. I handed them to Kell so he could dry off. Without another word, I went back to the break room.
“Thank you,” Kell said again as he dried himself off. He walked with me again.
“Don't mention it,” I replied. “Now what is it that you want to tell me?”
He seemed hesitant to answer. “It's a little complicated.”
“Just say it. I don't have all night.”
“Though you stayed up for most of it.” His little joke made us laugh a little. “Anyway, I want to talk to you about my dad.”
Okay, family issue. Just faced one of them myself, but I was interested. “What about him?”
The Wocky was quiet for a few seconds – that I assumed was to collect his thoughts. “Alright. A few years ago, my dad went out to catch a monster–”
“Your dad is a monster hunter?”
“He is.” Kell dried his tail. “Anyway, he didn't come back from it.”
I looked at him. “What happened to him?”
“I don't know.” He held his head. “It's been driving me crazy, not knowing.” He finished drying himself off, but he still held onto the now damp towels. “That's why I came to you.”
Okay, I knew where this was going. “You want me to find out what happened to him?”
Kell nodded. “Yes, if you could.” He held the back of his neck. “Though if you can't, I understand. You did say you were working late and I assume that what you're working on is very serious.”
This couldn't be worse timing. Jane and I were already working on ending this crime ring. This thing with experiments is very serious and it requires a lot of attention. Still, if a case needed to be solved, we – well, I in this case – needed to solve it. I shouldn't have to decide this right now. My headache was getting worse.
I have been in his shoes, though. Four weeks ago, a case opened into my mom and dad. Long story short, they faked their own deaths. When Jane and I heard the news, we were so worried about them (and a bit confused about the situation). We didn't know what happened to them or if they were okay. Wondering what happened to a parent... It shouldn't be something anyone had to face. I was unfortunate to experience it – and so was Kell.
“Janet, are you alright?” Kell asked, breaking my train of thought.
I looked at him and said, “Just fine.” I held my head. “Just a headache. I [i]really[/i] need sleep.”
“Janet, if you can't help me, I understand.” He walked away from me. “I'll just let myself out.”
“Who said I wasn't going to help you?” I asked.
He stopped and looked back at me. “Wait... You're going to help me?”
I walked back up to my friend (did I say friend? I meant... Okay, I meant friend). “Yes.”
Kell tilted his head. “But aren't you working on something?”
“I am, but I could use a break from it.” I stretched and yawned. “This doesn't seem too hard.” I crossed my arms and walked back to the break room. “Besides, I know what you're feeling. Not knowing what happened to a parent, wanting to know what happened...” He knew where that was going, so I stopped. I sighed.
He smiled – the first time he did this since he walked in. “Janet, I can't thank you enough.”
“Consider it a kind gesture.” I yawned again. “I'll get started on it in the morning. I need to go home and get some sleep.”
To be continued…