Janet and Jane: The Case of the Monster Hunter: Part Five
"I have to say, I prefer the coffee back at Neopia Central,” I said as I stared down into my mug of coffee. I poured a bit more cream into it.
“Yes, the coffee here isn't the best, but it's okay.” Kell replied. “It's the only coffee place in town, though.” He drummed his fingers on the table. “Otherwise, I wouldn't come here.”
“Kell, this place isn't that bad.”
“Oh, it's not. It's just that–”
“Ah, if it isn't m' best customer!”
Kell gained a disgusted face as the yellow Meerca shopkeeper hopped up to us. She balanced on her tail to put the food we ordered on the table. She didn't leave when everything was on the table.
“O', who is this wonderful lady?” the Meerca asked. “Is this one of yer friends?”
Kell grimaced before he answered. “Yes, she's a friend, but–”
“Ah, a pleasure to meet ya,” she interrupted. Before I knew it, she was shaking my hand. “How'd ya meet m' best customer?”
It was pretty obvious to see that Kell was getting annoyed fast. “If you don't mind, we're talking and we would like some privacy.”
“Who's gonna listen? It's just us three.” While that was true, Kell and I were the only ones in the coffee shop, that was not what he meant.
Maybe I could get rid of her. I began to sniff the air and said, “Excuse me, but I think I smell smoke.”
“M' crumpets!” the Meerca cried. She scurried off to the kitchen. I laughed a little.
“I don't know why I never did that,” Kell said with a couple chuckles in his voice. “Thanks, Janet.”
“No problem,” I replied. I picked up a piece of Raspberry Kolache and took a bite out of it.
“So what's in that bag that you found in the tree earlier?”
I shrugged. “I don't know. I didn't check yet.”
Now might be a good time to check, though. Kell happened to have it with him when he stormed out of my parents' house. It was sitting on the ground with my own. I picked the bag up, brushed off the pollen (which caused me to sneeze – I was very slightly allergic to pollen), and opened the bag up. Time to examine the contents.
I noticed a few small vials of something. I pulled them out. Slumberberry Potion? Why would they be in there? I decided to wonder later. I put them on the table and continued to pull things out. Map, dagger, cables– looked like whoever this belonged to wanted to catch something. And all of that was just in a small pocket.
“What on Neopia is this stuff?” Kell mused as he picked up one of the vials I put on the table.
“Slumberberry Potion,” I answered. “Be careful with it. That's enough to knock you out in a minute if you get that on your skin.”
He instantly put the vial back on the table. The yellow Wocky asked, “How do you know what it is?”
“I had the luck to be knocked out with it once.” I opened up the main area of the bag. What I first saw was a bit surprising. “Hmm?”
“What'd you find?”
I pulled the item out. “This journal.”
The journal looked almost exactly like the one I had. The only difference was that there was a 3 on the cover instead of a 1. I didn't know there was more than one. What was on the inside of it? Did I even want to find out?
“What's so special about this journal?” Kell asked me. He pulled the journal to him.
“What makes you think it's special?” I questioned.
“The way you were looking at it.”
Oh, that might be why. “Well, I have a journal similar to this,” I informed. I went into my bag and pulled out my own journal. “I've concluded that these used to belong to the crime ring, but they were either lost or taken. I got mine from Brightvale University from Dean Green, who I believe has ties to them.” I took the other journal and went through it. “Inside mine is a list of dangerous potion and chemical concoctions and some of what I could only assume are experiments.” After going through the pages of this one, I could conclude that the contents were similar. “I wouldn't be surprised if this one had similar contents.”
“Yikes, are these really experiments?” Kell asked in shock. He must be looking through the part with the creatures in it.
“Like I said, I could only assume. Don't be surprised if any of these pop up.”
I took a sip of my coffee as I looked through the one I was reading. While I was looking through the “creature” section, I spotted some paper sticking out of the top of the book. I turned to the page that it bookmarked. This weird mix of a Reptillior and a Cobrall was on the page. Though my attention was focused on the bookmark.
It was a picture. A picture of a yellow Wocky and a blue Ogrin. They looked like younger versions of Kell and Corbin. They looked no more than twenty in this picture, most likely teenagers. I turned it over. The words, “My sons” on the back.
“What's that?” Kell asked.
I put the picture on the table and slid it to him. “Do these Neopets look familiar to you?”
You should have seen the look on his face when he saw that. “That's Corbin and I. Where'd you get this?”
“It was in the journal.”
“I remember my dad had a picture of this.” The Wocky gained a look of realization. “Do you think this is my dad's?”
I shrugged. “It might be.” I sighed. “Kell, about this Neopet who... you know. I promise you that I'll find him and take care of him.”
Kell looked up at me. “Janet, you don't have to do that.”
“I would have to catch him anyway.”
“Are you just telling me this because I'm your client?”
I looked up at him and shook my head. “No. I'm telling you this because you're my friend.”
Our conversation would have gone on longer if it wasn't for the bell over the door ringing. I looked up from the journal I was reading to see Jane and Corbin enter. Corbin instantly looked at us.
“I told you Kell would be here,” he said. The Ogrin pulled up a chair and sat next to Kell. “Though I'll be honest. I didn't expect you to be with him, Janet.”
“Where did you think I went?” I asked.
“I don't know. It's just that I wouldn't bother Kell when he's angry.”
Kell sighed. “I know what you're thinking, and no, we didn't have an argument.”
Jane pulled up a chair and sat next to me. “You two didn't have an argument? I don't mean to offend you two, you two are really cool, but you two getting along like this isn't like you. I've seen Kadoaties and Warfs get along better.”
I sighed. “Yes, I know we don't get along very well, but I'm at least trying to be civil with him.” Truth was that I stopped trying a while ago. I didn't have to. I was just getting along with him now. “So what brings you here?”
“Well, the fact that Kell stormed off in a huff and us wanting to make sure he was okay is a good reason,” Jane pointed out.
“Yes, that is a good point.”
“That, and mom and dad told us something important.”
Now I was interested. “And what would this something be?”
Corbin then said, “This monster that our dad was after, he didn't catch it, unfortunately. Mr. and Mrs. Treiger don't know if it was caught or not, so that means we have to see if it is.”
I almost didn't realize what I said until after I said it. “I'll join you.”
All eyes were on me. I had no doubt that the three didn't believe what I just said. I wouldn't believe it if I didn't say it. You know what? I didn't regret saying that. I wanted to go along with Corbin and Kell.
“Janet, you know I like having you around, but I'm not so sure if that's such a good idea,” Corbin argued. The blue Ogrin put his elbows on the table. “From what your parents described, it isn't something to be messed with.”
“Why do you want to go along, anyway?” Jane asked me.
I stood up. “Well, this monster is the result of these experiments that this crime ring is performing. While I would hope that you two would be around to take care of anything similar that was released in Neopia, that might not be the case. And in case that is the situation that I was unfortunately stuck in, I would at least like to know how to repel or defend myself from something like this, if not detain it.”
“It might not be such a bad idea to let her come along,” Kell added. “Corbin, Janet's pretty good at finding stuff, you know that. If this monster is out somewhere, Janet might be able to find something that we'd overlook. Besides, she knows a good bit about these creatures that this crime ring apparently created.”
I looked over at Kell and smiled. He looked back and gave me a sly wink. It was nice that he was looking after me.
“I guess you have a point,” Corbin said with a slight hint of unease.
“If Janet's going with you, so am I,” Jane chimed in.
I smiled. I was actually excited to go along with the two brothers.
To be continued…