Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 195,265,935 Issue: 836 | 3rd day of Hiding, Y20
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Lupe Pack Detectives-Copycat


by lupe_hunter_7

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     It was probably early in the morning, around five-o-clock or so, when I, a Blue Lupe, woke up to the sound of someone loudly banging our front door. I was definitely irritated by it, but I got up as it was not something that I could easily ignore. Fortunately, I was not the only one irritated by the banging and the overall timing as I could see the rest of my siblings, still half-asleep, poking their heads out of their bedroom doors and probably wondering what was going on. When I opened the door, there stood a Green Techo, wearing a Defenders of Neopia messenger badge.

      “I sure hope that this is both urgent and important because we’re trying to sleep here,” I grumbled towards the messenger as it was usually the reason why someone from the DoN would be up and about at this time.

      “It is, as there’s an emergency detective meeting. What it’s about, I was never told, but Agent Forest Knoll the Skunk Kyrii is presiding over it.” After he mentioned the meeting, I had mixed feelings about it. On one hand, I was not happy as I still remembered the time we were summoned to the DoN, only to find out that we were no longer employed, although that was a ploy for a hostile takeover. On the other hand, I knew Forest was trustworthy as we were the ones who returned him to the DoN.

      In the end, I decided to head to the DoN Headquarters by myself, but I did leave a note for my siblings telling them where I was headed to. I knew I looked silly wearing my black trenchcoat over my pyjamas, but the meeting was an urgent one and I had no time to change.

      By the time I arrived, I could see some of the other detectives arriving, the majority of them still in their pyjamas. They were just as confused as I was, but did not say a word as we all had little information to go on. I ended up beside Squire Oak the Royalboy Usul.

      “My apologies for summoning you this early, however, it is important for you guys to hear, as it does affect you in some way,” Forest told us as soon as were assembled in the front lobby. “Recently, starting a couple of weeks ago, there’s been a string of robberies and the various witnesses have described the public faces of the Defenders.”

      Almost immediately, there were some whispers going on. The news that the public faces, like Judge Hog, were being accused, definitely surprised me, but it seemed strange for various reasons. Forest patiently waited until the noise died down before continuing, which was in sharp contrast to the last emergency meeting, where an Electric Krawk yelled at us.

      “Due to these circumstances, the public faces have voluntarily withdrawn themselves from all duties related to the DoN for the time being until this major issue is resolved. This will increase the workload for all front line workers like you, but I hope you’ll make the best of it.” I raised my hand as I had a question.

      “Forest, did anyone ask the public faces about their alibis during the supposed heists? It is important that all of us know this because we want to help them clear their names if they are to return from their self-imposed exile.”

      “We didn’t have to as various witnesses, all credible sources, have come forward and saw the Defenders elsewhere during the time the actual crimes was committed. Whoever is behind this, one thing’s for certain, someone’s impersonating our superheroes for evil intent and purposes.”

      Seeing as we were given all the information that we needed, we were about to leave, only to find a wall of familiar faces blocking our way, only this time, it was not superheroes, but faeries. Judging by the malicious look on their faces, we were somehow dealing with their evil versions. I slowly began moving away from them until I was close to one of the office doors, noting the unusual colour of their eyes.

      “Oops, looks like our little secret is out, but we can’t have you goody two shoes spoiling our fun,” a faerie resembling Fyora replied before blasting the nearest detective into a white marble statue. That was when chaos broke loose.

      As soon as I entered the office area, I could hear some of the other detectives yelling for those that were in the building to run for their lives or to hide, thus creating more chaos. I was not sure where to go next until I felt someone grab my arm and dragging me away. Shortly after, the Neopian let me go.

      “Follow me, Blizzard. I bet Shade knows where some of the secret passages are located,” a familiar voice told me. I was relieved to hear that it was Squire Oak.

      When we arrived at the Shadow Wocky’s office, Squire Oak quickly opened it and slipped inside. I followed suit, hoping that Shade was in. Fortunately for us, he was, but he was startled by our presence. Before he could say anything, the squire motioned him to be silent before he shut the door and deactivated the magic powering the Lavender Faerie Lamp. Then we hid behind his desk.

      “Shade, how many secret passages do you know?” Squire Oak quietly asked. Shade held up four fingers, seemingly understanding what was going on, if a bit confused at first. When the squire asked him which was the closest one, it took Shade a few seconds to think about it before he responded that it was the one near the break room, although he had no idea where it lead to.

      By now, the noise had settled down, but Shade remained cautious as he opened the door and took a peek to see if it was safe. When he slipped outside, we knew it was safe for the time being, so we followed suit, allowing Shade to carefully close his door before we headed towards the break room.

      Of course, none of us expected the stealth mission to be easy because as soon as Shade activated the passageway by turning the vase, it created a loud rumbling noise, thus alerting anyone to our presence. Before the passageway was fully opened, we were already inside. Surprisingly, Shade was somehow quick enough to dive in before it closed, prompting the squire to comment on his reflexes. We took a short break before moving on.

      After a long walk, we eventually found ourselves in the Catacombs. Even though it was technically abandoned, with the exception of the Neopian Times and the Coin Shop, it was a welcome relief for us. The location meant that we were far away from the chaos at the DoN Headquarters and it was unlikely that we would be discovered due to the numerous tunnels that have yet to be explored in addition to the vacated buildings.

      “Squire Oak, Blizzard, before we head to my place to rest up, I’d like to know what’s going on, please,” Shade politely requested. Both of us were willing to tell him.

      “We were just at Headquarters for an emergency meeting regarding the situation involving the evil counterparts of Neopia’s superheroes,” the squire replied.

      “Ah yes, those guys. They’ve been proven to be a real thorn as they’re impersonating the group dedicated to fight for good and justice, making my job, and everyone else, difficult. Please, continue.”

      “We were about to leave when we found the main entrance blocked by faeries like Fyora. As soon as they started blasting our colleagues into marble statues, that’s when chaos broke out. The rest you already know,” I said, continuing where Squire Oak left off.

      “Hold on, Blizzard. Despite the fact that Dark Faeries are known to be malicious at times, the majority of the faeries would never do something like what you just described. Oh, Sweet Fyora, so now we’re also dealing with evil counterparts of the various faeries. That’s not what I wanted to hear.” Both of us apologized, but he quickly waved it off as it was not our fault.

      We barely walked a few steps before I felt dizzy from hunger as I did not eat anything before heading out to Headquarters. After all, I had expected to be home for breakfast. We were not certain if the Neopian Times would have something for us, but it was worth a shot. Shade volunteered to go in for us as both Squire Oak and I were not in the mood.

      When Shade returned a few minutes later, with him were a familiar Cloud Shoyru and a knapsack. I knew our cousin Nimbus was an early riser, so it was more than likely that he had packed a large meal for a long day at work. After taking a couple of bites out of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I could feel the dizziness go away.

      “Nimbus, before you ask, there’s been an attack at the DoN Headquarters. Don’t worry, the rest of your cousins were not there, but when you arrive home, if it’s possible, let them know that I’m fine, just heading underground for a little bit. The same thing applies if you encounter any of the Royal Detectives with regards to Squire Oak,” I told my cousin as soon as I recovered.

      “Got it, Blizzard. I’ll try my best to keep you up to date via the Times and I know it was not intentional, but thanks for the tip. After all, Neopia has to know about this.” Soon after, Nimbus headed back to work.

      As soon as we arrived at Shade’s Neohome, located on 1455 Chia Close, Squire Oak decided to take a nap in the living room while Shade began reconfiguring the layout to accommodate us. I decided to change clothes before making some notes on what I knew so far. As I was changing into some more practical clothes, I realized that once I changed, those ‘evil’ faeries would not be able to recognize me as they had saw me based on what I wore to the meeting, causing me to smile at this unexpected blessing in disguise, although I still made the decision to switch from a black trenchcoat to a beige one just as a precautionary measure.

      With Shade’s permission, I was able to use his home office. As I was writing down what I knew so far on the chalkboard, I noted the similarities between this attack and the one orchestrated on the Faeries by Xandra the Speckled Xweetok. At that point, I began to wonder if the ‘evil’ superheroes and faeries were from the same group. It seemed likely, but I did not have that much information on them. However, there was a possibility that Shade did as he had implied that he was working on the case.

      “I may not have my notes here, but from what I can recall, some of the witnesses had mentioned unusual yellow eyes on the superheroes’ evil twin. Why, is something wrong?” Shade replied after I went to him and asked.

      “No, I’m just trying to confirm a few things, based on the little information that we have. It may have been a brief glimpse, but I definitely saw those unusual yellow eyes on the Faeries, and I’m certain the squire will be able to confirm it as well. In other words, we’re dealing with the same group.” Shade began thinking by placing his hand over his mouth.

      “That would mean that the entire DoN was targeted for a specific reason. What’s your working theory?”

      “Perhaps it’s a similar reason to Xandra distrusting the Faeries. You have to admit, the similarities are quite uncanny.” He nodded in agreement.

      “It does make sense. Hopefully, if any of the other detectives are out there, we’ll be able to confirm or disprove that. We definitely need all the help and information that we can get before we make our move, whatever it should be.”

     To be continued…

 
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