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Neopia's Fill in the Blank News Source | 17th day of Eating, Yr 26
The Neopian Times Week 135 > Short Stories > That's Life! (For us anyway...)

That's Life! (For us anyway...)

by appaloosa500

Agent Khargana, average-sized female green Wocky, Numero Uno in The Wocky Detective Agency, presently at the Wocky Detective Headquarters, sat on her small desk, at her electronic memo-briefcase she'd purchased from the Space Station for just this purpose.

     Absentmindedly sorting through some finished files, she wondered what to do now. She'd solved that last case for Fernypoo (the butler did it), done research on a suspicious toy store (clean), completed the blueprints for her latest gizmo (handy electronic listening/recording bug), and had lunch with a 'client' who turned out to be an apprentice to Jhudora (had no idea that dark faeries were so ingenious at disguising themselves...).

     Then she heard a faint knock on the door.

     Quickly snapping off the electronic briefcase and folding it (some not-so-top-secret files were open), she flicked around to see a small, red Chia waddle in, carrying nothing but a large manilla envelope, nearly as large as himself!

     There was something odd about him, but she couldn't place what. There wasn't anything particularly remarkable about him, nothing that caught the eye anyway, except he was obviously overweight and acted like he'd rather be anywhere instead of in Khargana's office. Not a good sign. Anyway, he certainly wasn't expected, but so few people consider calling ahead a common courtesy these days.

     He spoke. "G-g-good a-afternoon, Miss Khargana." Now that in itself is suspicious. I mean, whom, who as ever heard of Khargana, would call her a Miss?!

     Khargana tilted her head so her sly brown eyes met his. "Call me either Detective or Khargana or both. Not 'miss'."

     He acknowledged her response with a nod and continued: "I've been sent to d-deliver a m-message... Here!!" He shoved a large yellow manilla envelope on her desk and quickly waddled out the door.

     Strange... thought the Wocky Detective, reaching for the envelope.

     Before she could pick up the envelope, she heard a tapping at her window. Hearing the familiar voices of CarissaOfire, Stand_Off, and Adriana_Flyer (her best friends) calling her, she checked through the pockets of her nearly floor-length western-style leather vest.

     Emergency potions, check... Mini screwdriver set, check... Rubber band, check... Invisible tape, check...

     "Khargana! Get out here!" they shouted together, interrupting Khargana's double-checking. "Coming!" she yelled, nimbly hopping off the desk and out the door, temporarily forgetting the mysterious manilla envelope.

     She would soon be regretting leaving such a suspicious object unattended.

*****

"There ya'r!" shouted CarissaOfire gleefully. The tiny blue Shoyru jumped up and down. "We're gonna 'ave a blast!" She sprung into the air, spun around, lost her balance, and landed hard. Khargana winced.

     Rissa, as that was her nickname, jumped back up to her feet. "Let's get movin'!" she laughed. She absentmindedly rubbed her slightly bruised shoulder.

     Stand_Off, aka Tanny, a quiet blue Zafara, sighed. "Are you okay, sis?" she patiently asked Rissa, not really expecting an affirmative.

     "Nothin' ta worry 'bout sis'ta! Just a li'l bruise. Can we get movin' now?!"

     Khargana turned to Stand_Off. "So, where are we going?"

     Adriana_Flyer, a cute red Uni, giggled annoyingly. "I've found this absolutely gorgeous grooming salon! We have to go there! You know, you wouldn't look nearly so awful if you'd come with me! I've got some wonderful ideas! C'mon Khar!"

     Khargana faced her and glared in her eyes. "No."

     She turned back to Stand_Off. "So?"

     Tanny chuckled at her best friend and younger sister. "We're going to this new Alien Aisha's club's grand opening! We know how much you play with those gizmos and that memo-briefcase of yours, and figured you'd like to come! Adri was just chatting about this salon next door to the place. She's going to the dance with this blue Uni new in town and wants us to come to the dance with them. She says he's taking his family, so she thought she should take hers, and you, of course."

     Khar rolled her eyes. "Adri! You know I hate dances! They're so boring! Not a single one I've ever been to has had a murder, thievery, mistaken identity, any attack on a celebrities of leading scientists..."

     They all stared at Khargana for a second with wide eyes.

     "Err, not that I'd want anything like that to happen... but I still say they're boring."

     Adri stuffily answered, "I'm sure if you gave it a try you'd have a marvelous time." She seemed a little more than a little embarrassed at having had Stand_Off lay out the facts so bluntly.

     Rissa jumped up and down for attention. "C'm ON gals! We've gotta git movin'!! The party don las all day y'know!"

     They started down the dirt path outside Khargana's house. Khargana frowned.

     "You know, clubs usually don't hold grand openings, let alone let just anyone come in. I think something's up!" she announced to the world in general.

     Tanny smiled at her friend's eccentricities. Rissa laughed. Adri snorted.

     "Nothing's going to happen Khar! Calm down!" chuckled Stand_Off.

     Khargana frowned. "You see, the oddest Chia visited right before you gals got here..."

     Rissa laughed outright. "Get with it, girl! Don worry bout no weird Chia dude now! Let's get to dat PARTY!"

     Stand_Off smiled sweetly. "What's a Chia have to do with a grand opening party anyway, Khar?"

     Khargana shook her head, as if she could shake her thoughts into order. "Well, nothing. But there was definitely something wrong..."

     Adri giggled. "Anyway," she perkily said, "I want to tell you about HIM!" She sighed. "Mattretron..."

     They walked down the path until it came to a busy Neopian Street, Central Way, laughing and chatting, all suspicion forgotten. Not a good idea for someone in the crime-fighting business, but you've gotta have fun sometime! Err... right?

*****

The small, wobbly red Chia wobbled into a back door of a small, regular looking, currently deserted warehouse. He glanced around nervously. "Matt?" he asked the cold air around him, with no trace of a stutter.

     A young, good-looking teenager stepped out of the shadows. He had light hair, light skin, and dark blue eyes. The boy looked tired, with his hair all mussed, the whites of his eyes reddish, his skin sallow. "Did you do it, Jen?"

     The small Chia, Jen, nodded. "I'm sure the Wocky will help us Matt. She'll read your notes and work everything out for us."

     Matt shook his head tiredly. "Don't be so optimistic. It's too hard to take, lifting your hopes up then having them torn down--"

     Jen glanced around. "This place safe?" Matt nodded. "It'd better be. We have nowhere else to go," Matt answered, in a voice that seemed to expect the worse to happen.

     Matt looked up and sadly looked at the walls of the old, dusty, empty warehouse. There were empty shelves along the walls, some empty boxes in a corner, and gray. Everything was gray. Just like his life at the moment. Nowhere near good, light-hearted white, but not quite turned black yet.

     He looked back to Jen, who looked worried for his boy, for Matt. "I'm sorry, Jen. It's just- everything going on is kind of getting to me. I didn't mean to sound to pessimistic."

     Jen (the red Chia) smiled. "Don't worry Jen. We can take whatever comes at us." Matt smiled. "We don't have much choice, huh?" he answered, sounding slightly braver.

*****

Khargana the Wocky Detective suddenly stopped dead still in front of the grand opening of the new A.A. Club. Her three friends, all girls, glanced at her with differing expressions.

     "Waz up, Khar?" asked the insatiably curious CarissaOfire, a tiny but extremely athletic Blue Shoyru. Her sisters looked like they were about to ask the same question.

     "Hush," commanded Khargana, searching through the pockets in her brown-suede western vest. Grabbing a weird piece of metallic looking glass, she held it over her right eye. "I figured as much," she mumbled, dashing forward.

     "What?!" shouted her three friends, lunging after her. The cry caught the attention of Khargana's target, a small Red Chia and a teenage boy.

     "Wait!!" shouted Khargana, seeing the two jump and dash off. She followed. "I just have a few questions!!"

     The two uncertainly slowed and turned, though still obviously on high alert. The Red Chia stepped in front of the boy protectively. Khargana trotted forward.

     "You couldn't have read the file already!" growled the Chia. "What do you want?!"

     The boy glanced down at his Chia. "Calm down Jen. You're the one that said we could trust her."

     "I said I thought we could trust her, Matt," announced Jen, the red Chia. He glared at Khargana. "She shouldn't be around here! She should be back at her NeoHome reading that file!"

     "Wait a second!" yelled Khargana. "Is that what you gave me this morning? A file? And if it was so important, why'd you just throw it on my desk? And what happened to that nervous stutter you had earlier?!"

     Suddenly, Matt's eyes took on a terrified cast. "Y-y-you a-are h-h-here, so w-where's the f-file?"

     "Back at my office, of course. I had no idea it held anything of any importance or urgency."

     "We've g-gotta get it!" gasped Matt. "Where's y-your h-house?"

     Khargana glanced back at her shocked friends, and tilted her head down the path. "Come on. I'll take you there. If this file is that urgent we have to get moving."

     She started running back to her NeoHome. She turned her head back to her friends. "Go have fun without me! I'll join up later if I can!" she shouted.

     "NO WAY!" shouted Stand_Off, the usually quiet blue Zafara. "We're not missing out on this!" So the three sisters dashed after Khargana, Matt, and Jen.

*****

Back at Khargana's NeoHome, Kay, Khargana's owner/girl/human, was tidying up the house. Her long light brown hair was tied back in a rather untidy ponytail. Stray strands kept flapping in her face, only to get shoved behind her ears.

     The doorbell rang. "Coming!" she shouted, dusting off Khargana's briefcase. Couldn't have dust getting in the mechanics, no matter how often Khargana insisted that was impossible. She'd spent way to much for that stupid thing. Five year's savings for a briefcase, even one supplemented with Space Station technology, seemed such a waste.

     She walked over to the front door, which Khargana and her rarely used since they had a client door and a back door. Dusting her hands on her jeans, she asked who was there. "The Neopia Central Authorities!" barked a commanding voice from outside. "Open up!"

     The NCA? thought Kay, this could be serious. She opened the door, to see a large red Draik, in uniform, on her doorstep. "Yes?"

     "We're here concerning your Neopet, Khargana we believe?" he asked.

     Kay's mind suddenly started racing. The NCA knew exactly where Khargana lived and who she was. She even got a few cases from them from time to time. She had lunch with the Chief Investigator regularly! Or she could just be jumping to conclusions --perhaps the Draik was a newbie.

     "Were you sent by Chief Investigator Jay Kazowski? Tell him Khargana isn't here right now." The Draik suddenly looked relieved.

     "May I come in Miss, ummm," he looked at a notepad he was holding, "appaloosa500?" Kay frowned. Officers these days don't carry notepads. They had high-tech minicomputers. Khargana and she had helped design them.

     "May I see your badge?" she asked politely, in case she had the wrong idea. She wasn't about to let a gangster or something in. She had a theory, but it could be wrong. Unfortunately, it turned out she wasn't.

     The Draik appeared to reach into his pocket for a badge, and yanked out Lightning Gun. "I hoped you might consider letting me in without a badge," he smirked.

     Aiming the Lightning Gun at Kay's stomach, he started into the house. Kay wasn't stupid enough to fight an armed Draik with just her bare hands. She backed up, but kept her hands to her sides. She just might get her chance...

     "So, is or is not that amateur detective wannabe Khargana here?" asked the Draik. Kay's temper began to rise, but with an effort she kept her cool.

     "She's not here. And I recommend you get out, she will be home soon, and with company." The Draik smiled.

     "I'll leave when I'm good and ready to, human-girl," laughed the Draik, glancing at his gun, which he still aimed at Kay. "Show me that lame-o Wocky's office. I need to get something."

     It would have been obvious to anyone but that stupid Draik that Kay's temper was getting the better of her. "How about you find it yourself?" she answered, hoping to get the Draik to turn his back.

     He was too smart for that idea. "Oh, no, human. I've heard of you, and your Wocky too. You're staying where I can see you. Take me to the Wocky's office now," said the Draik.

     Kay slowly tuned and pointed to a large room where the door stood open. "Right through there," she told him, as if he was stupid.

     The Draik motioned for her to lead the way into the room. She started through the doorway, with the Lightning Gun now pressing itself against her back.

*****

Khargana was running alongside Matt, the boy who owned the Chia that had visited her this morning, to her NeoHome. "So what's the problem?" she asked.

     He panted, but didn't answer directly. "Is your owner at home?" he gasped. He obviously wasn't used to being on the run.

     "I don't know. Last night Kay told me she was going to Faerieland to talk to the Fyora about Petpet civil rights. She stayed the night and wasn't back when I left this morning," answered Khargana. "She could very well be back by now.

     Matt slowed down. He was having a hard time running through the forest terrain, though the path was fairly straight. "I hope your owner isn't. I don't want anyone to get hurt..."

     "Who are you dealing with that's so dangerous? And why'd you come to me?" asked Khargana, beginning to slightly pant at the grueling pace.

     Matt flicked his eyes at her nervously, but didn't answer. Instead he asked, "Are we almost there?"

     "Right around that turn there," she answered. They dashed around the corner.

     "Oh, Neoflakes!" groaned Matt, when he saw an out-of-place motor bike propped at the front of the house. He also saw a rather cool looking fading blue circle in the middle of the front yard.

     Khargana growled. "Kay's home, and it looks like she has company."

     Stand_Off caught up and saw the circle.

     "The alarm! Oh, Khargana, where's Kay?!" she half-spoke half-whispered. But Khargana wasn't standing in the front yard anymore.

     Jen ran after Khargana and tackled her before she reached her back door. "Get off, Chia!" she growled.

     He continued sitting on her. "Not until you think sensible, there's a dangerous guy in there!"

     With a quick jerk and twist of her back, Khargana caused Jen to lose his balance and crash to the grass. "Next time listen," she said, more calmly, not as rashly. She seemed to think a second, then turned and snuck through the front door.

     Jen, Matt, Stand_Off, Adriana_Flyer, and CarissaOfire all looked terrified, but none dared move. Khargana silently opened the door, left it open, and snuck toward her office, where a red Draik was threatening Kay with a Lightning Gun and moving toward her precious desk and briefcase.

     "HEY DRAIK!!" she shouted at the top of her lungs. The large, red menace slowly turned around, to see Khargana.

     Before he knew what hit him, Kay had pulled a tiny cylindrical flashlight from her pocket and pushed a button. He instantly fell to the ground, stunned.

     Khargana calmly walked toward her desk, pulled two sets of paw-cuffs from a file cabinet, and ended standing over the Draik.

     Her eyes scanned over the Draik's uniform. "Mugged a cop lately, Draik?" she asked, snapping the cuffs.

     Her timing was perfect. Just as she locked the cuffs, he started getting over the stunray.

     Jen, Matt, and the girls all slowly crept in. Kay sighed and slipped the pocket stunray back into her jeans.

*****

"So let me get this straight," said Kay. "You're some sort of computer genius that served as an engineer on the Space Station and you've invented a minicomputer that can hack into anything on Neopia?"

     Matt sighed. "Yep. It's actually very small." He glanced at Khargana. "It, umm, would fit in a manilla envelope."

     Khargana pulled a long, flat, rectangular box from the envelope. It was surprisingly scarcely heavier than a stack of paper the same size would be.

     With a sigh, Jen admitted, "It was all my idea. We were trapped on all corners by these gangs and dark faeries and all. Then we saw an article in the Neopian Times on one of your cases."

     "We were at our wit's end," added Matt. "We had to try something. Or at least get that mini-hacker out of our hands."

     Khargana stood up and stretched her lean body. "And you figured I'd watch over it for you until you could come retrieve it."

     Jen and Matt simultaneously nodded.

     Matt looked at his feet. "I suppose you're going to say we should destroy it so we won't be in danger anymore."

     "Of course not!" exclaimed Kay. "To create something so advanced you must be a true genius for computers! It would be a shame to destroy such a work of art! And such a useful little thing too..."

     Khargana suddenly cleared her throat. Every eye in the room turned toward the Green Wocky. "Not that you asked my opinion, but I'd say all you have to do is make a few minor adjustments to it's programming."

     "I'm listening." Matt leaned forward, obviously interested.

     "Just program it to only work for certain people. No offense, but for a computer genius you don't show much common sense."

     Kay suddenly smiled. "I have a further idea." All eyes turned toward the long-haired teen.

     She shrugged. "We can just give it to Fyora. I'm sure she'd pay well, and it'd be in very safe hands that could actually make use of it for the betterment of Neopian society."

     Everyone in the room stared at her, then burst out laughing. Rissa actually fell backwards out of her chair. Though no one else fell from their seats, all had tears of laughter in their eyes.

     "Now why didn't I think of that?" asked Matt to no one in particular.

The End

I'd seriously welcome feedback! If you enjoyed this story and have something to say, go ahead and Neomail me! Thank you!


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