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The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Stolen Sharky - Part Seven


by playmobil_is_my_life

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In an instant, I felt all the feathers stand up on my neck and back, which I'm sure looked really funny. My breathing stopped for a second and it caught in my throat. Ever so slowly, the four of us turned around to face the doorway.

     It was Jay!

     "You?" I asked, with a mixture of disbelief and exclamation.

     "Real smart detectives you are," the skunk Kyrii muttered. He started over towards a thick rope that was tied on a hook nailed to the wall. Jay released the rope, and a large iron gate above the doorway splashed into the water, dampening my feathers. If the wooden doors were closed, the gate would block our underwater escape. Great. Just great.

     "But…" Luna stuttered, "but why?"

     "You're the cunning detectives, why don't you tell me?"

     "Because we've only talked to you twice," Damien muttered, starting towards Jay.

     "You stay back," the Kyrii hissed, and by the tone of his voice, Damien took a few steps back. Jay took a deep breath and said, "I owned a coffee shop in Neopia Central just over a year ago. The building had been in my family for years. Then, that aquarium called a demolition team and my coffee shop was knocked down and blue prints for the new building were being designed."

     As he talked, I listened carefully. Now that Jay mentioned the coffee shop, I seemed to remember Mindy saying something about it when we first met her.

     "The building was old," said Luna, "and dangerous! It needed to be knocked down."

     "Shut up!" Jay hissed and Luna quieted. Behind his glasses, his eyes turned to flames, "Maybe I couldn't stop the building of the aquarium, but I could sure as heck stop the opening. I took a job there to wait for the opportune moment."

     "So you took Scout and brought him to Kiko Lake?" I asked, my voice sounding somewhat high.

     "That's right," Jay's pleasant face twisted in anger. His lip curled into a sneer, "Since I was Mindy's friend for so long, she would never suspect me. I just had to be patient. While the walls and tank were being built, all that was on my mind was the thing that I lost in place of it."

     I did feel a little bad for him… just a little. But just a few minutes later, my pity turned to hate.

     "But the tour guides…" I said, "The boat is going to come back any minute!"

     "Well, I'll just have to go take care of that, won't I?" And with a nasty smile, Jay slammed the wooden doors behind him. I hurried over to them and pushed, but they wouldn't budge. I even tried using my shoulder to push through the wood, but the old boathouse was a lot stronger than I expected.

     No one said anything for at least ten minutes. It was one of those, 'I need to go over what I missed' times. I was furious at myself for believing Jay's story about Shannon. He tipped us off that she was a perfectionist, hoping the clean crime scene would flash back into our minds and connect to Shannon. It was a smart move, I admitted. Since he worked at the aquarium, he had easy access to Scout's tank.

     After a few more minutes of wallowing in a salty lake of defeat, Luna said, "Hey, guys, check this out. The wood is really soft right here." She pushed a spot of the wooden floor with her black paw.

     "It probably rotted from the water," I told her. "So?"

     "So if you pull these planks up, I can dig my way out and find help."

     I cocked my heads towards her. She looked up at me with her knowing brown eyes. I nodded and said, "Okay, let's do it." Since I was the strongest, I dug my white paws into the wood and pulled up a chunk. It made a thudding sound and I slid it across the floor. Next was the second piece, and then third. The work was a little slow, but the boathouse was losing more floorboards by the minute.

     After a while, there was a big enough hole for Luna to dig into. The shadow Yurble started with her paws, dirt flying up behind her. She started to sink down into the ground, her paws moving faster than a Meerca bouncing down the street.

     Just as we were beginning to think she'd never tunnel out, we heard her call, "I'm out!"

     "Great!" Damien exclaimed. "I'm going with you."

     "We'll stay here," I told Damien, referring to Charlie and myself. "Find someone who can unlock this door… and stop Jay!"

     After Luna and Damien left, it felt like hours before they returned. Charlie waited patiently, ruffling the white feathers on my head. A strong voice called, "Stand clear!" and the boathouse door was hit with such a force that it was knocked off the hinges. After the cloud of dust settled, I opened my eyes.

     A Moehog, even larger than myself, (which is really saying something) stepped inside and surveyed the area. He was wearing a yellow suit and long black cape. A green Lupe with a red cape followed him inside and asked if we were okay. It was the Defenders of Neopia. Two familiar faces, Luna and Damien rushed inside.

     "They caught Jay," Luna panted, "and Shannon called the Defenders of Neopia for us."

     "Plus two Kikos and a really strong Acara are going to pull Scout's tank up from Kiko Lake," Damien added, "we need to get him to the aquarium pronto!"

     I sighed with relief. Case closed.

     ***

     On the 20th day of the month of Storing, The Neopian Aquarium was bustling with excitement on its opening day. Young Neopets were standing with their faces pressed up against the tanks and giddy with happiness. The four of us were standing amongst a crowd of Neopets, listening to Mindy talk about the petpets.

     The natives of Kiko Lake were most happy to help when they learned that Scout needed saving and Jay needed to be taken care of. With us gone, their lives could return to normal. Shannon was still giving tours with the glass bottom boats and part of our paycheck went to fixing the boathouse floor, since a lot was torn up when we were trying to escape.

     I'm sure you are wondering what happened to the Maraquan Krawk. We never saw him again, but I was sure he couldn't do much harm.

     Mindy was just finishing up a tour, "Thank you for taking our Aquatic tour of the aquarium. The gift shop is just to your left and please come again." The red Zafara, wearing the biggest smile started towards us. "Thank you so much for your help. I don't think we could have relocated Scout without you."

     "You're welcome," I answered. With the nice paycheck and free tickets to the aquarium's opening, we couldn't complain. I figured that Mindy didn't really want to talk about Jay. He was her friend for a while, and I was still in disbelief that the kidnapper wasn't Shannon. I guess it just goes to show you that you can't be too quick to judge someone.

     On our way out, we passed by a yellow Bori. She stopped in the doorway and had an embarrassed grin on her face.

     "Shannon?" Damien inquired. "We didn't expect to see you here!"

     "Well," Shannon began, "I thought I'd give it a try."

     I didn't want to stand around and question her change of heart, so the four of us just said, "Nice to see you" and started home. Jay had been taken care of, Shannon finally decided that the aquarium was for the better and Scout was safe. Nothing could have been better!

     "Well, I know that I never want to be that close to the water again," Damien said, as we were exiting the building, "What with the Maraquan Krawks, crazy tours, stealing boats after dark and all… how about we get lunch at the Pizzaroo?"

     My mouth watered at the thought, "That sounds great."

     Later that week

     Mindy the Zafara sat at her desk after finishing the feed route with Scout and the other petpets. She leaned back in her chair and sighed with happiness. The past few days had gone perfectly: Scout returned and the aquarium guests were pleased.

     She exited the office and made her way down the hall to where Scout's tank was. Mindy stood in front of it, watching the small Sharky enjoying a piece of Stuffed Sea Cucumber.

     "Oh, Scout," Mindy said, "it's so great to have you back."

     A red Techo wearing an "Aquarium Staff" shirt passed by and handed Mindy an envelope. Mindy paused… maybe Shannon and the others in Kiko Lake were still unhappy with the aquarium. With a worried expression, Mindy opened the letter and pulled out a piece of paper:

      Dear Mindy,

     We are so glad that we were able to return Scout just before the Neopian Aquarium's grand opening. It seems like there were many happy guests and I'm sure they're interested in helping protect the aquatic petpets that still exist. We wish you much luck for the Aquarium's future success. Thank you for the neopoints and the free tickets; we really enjoyed ourselves. Please do not hesitate to contact us again if you need anything.

     Sincerely,

     T.PP.D.

The End

Author's Note: Thank you so much for reading the second TPPD mystery. Please feel free to send me any comments or feedback; I'd love to hear your thoughts. Keep an eye out for more mysteries! -playmobil_is_my_life

 
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Other Episodes


» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Stolen Sharky - Part One
» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Stolen Sharky - Part Two
» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Stolen Sharky - Part Three
» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Stolen Sharky - Part Four
» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Stolen Sharky - Part Five
» The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Stolen Sharky - Part Six



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