The Case of the Lying Letter: Part Two
Also by tambourine_chimp
From the case-files of Kojak Hommes, Lupe Private Eye…
Kojak_hommes, old buddy, was that supposed to actually
mean anything? You've only solved one mystery in your entire career and
already you think you can use the title 'Private Investigator' with even an
ounce of meaning? Get real.
The two Neopets seated at the coffee table stared
at me like I'd just fallen off the conveyor belt of the Freaky Factory. I couldn't
say I blamed them; I did botch-up my entrance like a real amateur.
The purple Pteri just sniffed disdainfully and
bent her head over her Zeenana Split. "Oh, great," she groaned loudly, hoping
I'd go away, "a wacko! That's the last thing we need!"
I was just about to remind the Neopet that the
wild variety of my species ate the wild variety of her species for lunch when
I recognized that the fire Wocky opposite her wasn't staring at me in disgust,
"You solve mysteries?" she asked, her voice a
desperate plea for help if my skills for deciphering tones was up to scratch.
"Yes," I replied calmly, thinking that it wouldn't
be the best idea right now to correct her on the use of the plural. "Can I help
"I'm not entirely sure," the Wocky answered softly.
She offered me a seat in between them, which I gladly accepted. My paws were
aching, and the cold stone floor of the Deep Catacombs wasn't helping much,
"Read this, please," the Wocky muttered as she
passed a crumpled piece of paper towards me. As I flattened it out, I overheard
the Pteri's whisper of indignation thanks to my acute hearing.
"Why are you getting this guy involved?
We don't need some mutt who thinks he can run the show!"
"We need all the help we can get!" her friend
(or sister? The letter indicated that they were related) hissed back. I didn't
mention that I had heard everything, or that the bird had a big beak for something
a fifth my size. I was too busy reading the letter I had been given.
"So your…your brother? I doubt a girl would use
the gym as much as the writer says they do, so I'll go on the assumption that
he's your brother," wow, Kojak! That so totally failed to amaze your audience.
"So your brother is in the Neolodge, and…?"
"That's just it, Mr. I-Can-Solve-It-All," the
purple Pteri (I guessed her name was TigerWing for obvious reasons so, according
to the letter, the Wocky was called Cali) snapped, snatching the strange letter
from my loose paws. "He isn't!"
"How do you know that?" I asked, genuinely interested.
"Well, gee…how about because we looked everywhere
in the building?" TigerWing retorted sharply.
"Even in his room?"
"No," the Wocky called Cali replied softly, trying
her hardest to ease the tension. "It was locked…the door that is."
"Locked?" I asked with a mischievous glint in
my eye. "Hmm, well we'll see about that…"
"Umm," a voice called uneasily from behind where
I was knelt before the locked door of Neolodge room 2F. It was Cali, and when
I turned to face her, I noticed her eyes were darting down each end of the corridor.
"Is this legal?"
"Detective 101," I stated flatly as I turned
back to the lock, "sometimes it takes a little crime to bust a big one."
"Ever heard of Etiquette 101?" TigerWing
snapped with a low whisper. "It says 'two wrongs don't make a right,' I hear."
I ignored her and took out a Yellow Kyrii Hair
Clip. Snapping off the star and ribbon, I carefully straightened it out as best
I could before inserting it slowly into the keyhole of room 2F, jiggling it
about cautiously, feeling and listening out for any clicks…
Instead I heard a snap and only a tiny part of
the Hair Clip came out when I withdrew it again. "Grr… stupid tacky Kyrii accessories,
not worth the Neopoints used to make them! Okay, so I had hoped to get in discreetly,
but desperate times call for desperate measures."
"And what, pray, is the measure for this?" TigerWing
asked with an un-amused yawn.
"I'm going to ram the door open," I stated matter-of-factly
as I backed away from the door.
"I though as much," I heard the Pteri mutter
as I charged past her, hoping to hit the door with all my might. What was her
problem? I'm trying to help her, aren't I?
Luckily for me and my already aching shoulder,
the door flew open upon first impact. Problem was, I wasn't expecting it to,
and fell to a heap on the floor. Getting up, ceremoniously brushing myself off,
I turned at the sound of a tiny patter of feet. Soon afterwards a small Chia
bellboy appeared around the corner of the corridor, saw the mess I'd just made,
"S-sir!" he stammered in fear and disbelief.
"I-I must inform you that you a-are in vi-violation of Neolodge Rule 187! That
b-being the Rule Against Forcing Entry Upon Neolodge Property, s-sir!"
"Really?" Growling menacingly (why did it have
to be a Chia?) I slowly approached the terrified worker. "Well, I'm also sorry
to tell you that you have just broken Neopia Rule 243."
"I-I'm afraid I am not familiar with N-Neopia
Rule 243, sir…w-what is it?"
"Informing an Angry Lupe That He is in Violation
of Neolodge Rule 187," I answered, gnashing my fangs for emphasis.
I must admit, the little guy understood that
he hadn't seen anything and that we weren't even here pretty quickly.
After seeing him off, I turned back to my new
clients/partners (I didn't yet know which role they wanted me to play, and they
hadn't helped to enlighten me so far) only to see them staring open-mouthed
through the doorway. Upon reaching the room again, I realised why.
"Uh," I said weakly, "that wasn't me…I swear!
I only broke the door."
The room was in utter chaos. There had obviously
been quite a struggle of some sort. Bed sheets were flung halfway across the
room, curtains pulled down from their hooks, a desk upturned. An Official Usuki
Clock had fallen from its perch, where it had broke and no longer worked.
And there was an odd glow about the room as well.
Not the yellow sunshine that poured in through the window, but a light so odd…and
out-of-place green. Instead of being in one place, the glow was everywhere,
as if it had been thrown around…whatever 'it' was.
I was just about to ask Cali and TigerWing if
they knew what could've caused it when I heard the Pteri give a low moan. "Wiseguy…"
"Your brother?" I asked, my brain going into
ultra-speed. The two pets hadn't told me what species Wiseguy was, and yet there
was a scattered shine about his room. "A glowing pet, by any chance?"
"Glowing Wocky," Cali nodded sullenly as she
stepped into the room.
"Don't touch anything!" I snapped before I could
stop myself. I was already treating this as an actual case, and it was obvious
by the hurt look on the fire Wocky's face that it wasn't, that it would never
be and that I was just helping a fellow pet in need. "Sorry… but something's
not right," I muttered for an excuse as I padded over to the window, kneeling
down before it. "See?" I added, holding-up a pinch of blue fur that almost blended
with the room's carpet. "Someone else was here…so your brother wasn't just throwing
"Okay, but where is he now?" TigerWing snapped,
"he can't have gone willingly," (give the bird a prize, I thought), "he
left his cases behind. Look!"
Actually, I'm glad the Pteri pointed the cases
out for me; otherwise I may not have found the torn slip of paper that lay before
it in time.
"Hey, look at this," I murmured, picking it up
and reading as much as I could. "Was your brother planning on going to Mystery
"No, he knows our owner doesn't like us going
abroad on our own," Cali replied in a confused manner, as if I was an idiot
to even ask.
"Hmm," I decided it was about time I went over
Wiseguy's lying letter once again. Who knows, maybe it could hold an important
clue if I put my knowledge of codes to the test.
First I started by reading the letter backwards…nothing,
just plain old gobbledygook. Then I tried rearranging all the first letters…and
discovered that I didn't need to, that there was a hidden message there already.
"Your brother is smarter then he lets on," I
told the two girls. Handing them the letter back along with a pen and my notebook,
I told them to write down the first letter of each sentence, not including their
names or his.
As they got to work scribbling down the message
letter-for-letter, I read the other slip of paper again:
"Neopian Ferry Ser-
Destination: Mystery Isla-
Departure Time: 12 Noo-"
My eyes darted over to where the clock had fallen.
The time had stopped at 3:30 am NST. If we were lucky, and if the person behind
all this was as smart as I hoped he was, we could…
"When you're finished with that," I announced,
as I strode to the door, "grab as many cases as you can and meet me down by
the docks. I'll try to postpone the Ferry!"
With that I was away, smiling smugly as I heard
the Pteri's outbursts of disbelief trail behind me. Nothing was stopping this
Lupe, though! And if TigerWing was smart, she wouldn't continue to try!
Standing in the doorway of room 2F, Cali was
trying to decipher the letter, by taking the first letter of each sentence,
as Kojak suggested. She slowly wrote down the correct letters, but Cali was
coming up empty-handed.
"Oh geez... Cali, let me do it." TigerWing snatched
the letter from her younger sister and scanned it. After all, TigerWing was
the one who had been in Neoschool longer, therefore, her reading skills were
At first she frowned, but then her eyes grew
as wide as she started to put the first letter of every sentence together, as
Cali had tried.
"Holy Fyora!" TigerWing exclaimed, "It spells:
HELP. I HAVE BEEN KIDNAPPED!"
To be continued...