Sanity is forbidden Circulation: 81,826,882 Issue: 157 | 10th day of Gathering, Y6
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Logic And Circumstance: Part One


by appaloosa500

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Journal, Volume 1, Installment 1

Note to self:

I am a Wocky Detective, a feline private eye. I've got long green fur, a thick furry tail, two slanted brown eyes, a sharp wit, and, well you get the picture. And you'd better or I'll have a bone to pick with you! My name is Khargana, though I'm sure you haven't heard of me before. I'm still working my way to the top of the profession, and you can trust me on this: I will get there.

I'm pretty successful. So far I've solved, more or less to everyone's satisfaction, every case that's come my way. I've attended SSTI, the Space Station Technological Institute, on a scholarship and managed to come out in the top three. I've reached the level of professional fighting that the Mystery Island Training School now charges me double the normal fare. As for street fighting, I'm beyond levels.

I've only got one problem in this line of business, and it ain't the bad guys. It's the stupid clients. Maybe this problem will go away as I get more well known, but for now it sure is annoying. What is it? I keep being mistaken for a male. A problem most Wocky females don't have once they get out of diapers, figuratively speaking. Wocky kittens don't wear diapers.

Grrrr. I know it's getting to be a relatively crowded field, but how stupid do you have to be to not check someone's lookup before you hire them? Does "detective" sound masculine or something?! Do they assume I'd have to be male to have so many successes in my case files? IS IT MY FAULT ALL OTHER FEMALE DETECTIVES ARE EITHER CUTE TEENAGERS OR DROP-DEAD GORGEOUS?????

I don't care. (Well, obviously I do.) I am who I am, and it certainly is not my fault I'm not a Beauty Contest contestant! I'd rather eat dung for one thing! I like nice, relaxing colors like green and brown-you can tell by looking around my office. I habitually wear a long, pocketed vest of brown suede. I hate pink, makeup, dresses, and the like. And I never understood the point of blowing your savings on a paintbrush when painted pets are getting to be so common anyway! Besides, a large factor in my line of work is the ability to blend into any crowd. I can.

******

 Then the client door to my office opened and I was interrupted from my description of myself for reason of an above-average looking Kyrii gal sauntered into my office. From her pink stiletto heels, up her figure-hugging hot-pink dress, over her pink Kyrii face smothered in make-up, she reeked of helpless female in despair. Ha, she wished. My brain was clicking with the approximate NP it would take to dolly herself up like that, and the figure could be likened to my bill.

     "Detective? Please," she sniffed artistically for good measure. "I need your help."

     "No." Plain and simple, is it really that hard to understand?

     Her huge, heavily eyelashed eyes looked like they would pop out of her head. Yep, definitely not the response she was expecting. "Excuse me! What?"

     "No."

     Her mouth dropped open in shock. "But I'm a beautiful, helpless damsel in distress! You're the hotshot detective!" She started crying pathetically.

     I sighed. "Close your mouth and cut the stupid tears. It's frankly annoying. And if you'd had enough of a brain to check my lookup, you'd know I was female."

     She stared, suddenly not in the least pleading or whiney. Then, furious, she exclaimed, "You mean I got all dressed up and practiced my crying and feminine charm for nothing! How dare you!"

     Oh man. This was such an absolutely idiotic situation. "How dare I what? Be born female? Tell you no because I detest arrogant female charmers? Waste your time?" I didn't say so, but truth was she was wasting mine.

     She stomped toward me and raised her flat palm to slap me. Of course, since I am a girl, I have zero qualms about hitting girls. I thought about giving her the ol' one-two in the stomach, but I also thought better of it.

     I simply stopped her incoming paw by grabbing it in my fist. "Just because I'm female doesn't mean I'll sink to your level, lose my head, and have a silly catfight. I am a real detective, whether you like it or not, and I could easily remove you from my property."

     She tried to yank her paw out of mine, and her eyes widened in recognition of the raw strength holding her in place. I abruptly let go and she fell comically on her tail. Too bad I was pulling my 'tough gal' role and couldn't let myself laugh.

     I looked over her tense body and her furious face as she glared at me in a way that would definitely have given second thoughts to any average girly detective. I smirked and commented, "You're not making much of a first impression, no matter what your original intention was."

     She angrily stood and dusted off her bright dress. "Oh?" she inquired snidely.

     I allowed myself a chuckle and shook my head deprecatingly. "A rich daddy's-little-princess used to getting her way, lazy, not very observant, though I do admit you must be very popular with the macho males. Whatever your problem, you'll get over it. And if you can't, it's not my problem. My advice? Keep your cool and deal with it." I gestured toward the door in a sort of sardonic sweeping bow.

     She glared at me, stuck her tiny, pointy nose in the air, and marched past me without bothering with a goodbye.

     "See ya, sister!" I shouted after her, and, chuckling to myself, I shut the client door to my house. Laughing to myself, I sat back down at my desk and rather foolishly surmised I wouldn't be seeing her again.

     ******

     She was back the next morning, this time with backup. Bodyguards, I should say, though they looked much more like bouncers at a private club. How should I describe them? Two huge, lumbering oafs with barely any room in their large empty heads do to the fact of their incredibly thick skulls. For some absurd reason, they were both Red Lupes. Maybe the silly gal thought that since I was feline I'd be intimidated by the bumbling large canine idiots.

     Tough love, baby. Nothing fazes Detective Khargana, especially on my own turf, except maybe rabid talking fruit, but that's another story.

     She stomped into my office around 6am, probably expecting to set up an ambush. She was most assuredly disappointed.

     I was working at my memo-briefcase, a sort of disguised computer I'd made for a project at SSTI, when I heard the door swing open. Okay, so I admit it's weird, but I like the dark. So, naturally, all the lights were off and they apparently didn't notice the very faint glow of the flat screen in my briefcase.

     I'll concede to the fact that they moved very fast, but I still had the advantage of night-vision. So while they were stumbling around for the light switch, I silently leaped and landed hard on top of her majesty, easily knocking her to the floor.

     "One false move and you can say goodbye to your pretty neck," I whispered menacingly. Of course I didn't mean it, I would never hurt someone unless it was absolutely essential, but she didn't know of my sense of decency. And some very close friends have timidly informed me that I'm very good at playing the cruel, on-the-edge P.I.

     She didn't move, but one of her dimwitted bodyguards found the light switch and flicked it on. My eyes were instantly flooded with light and I tightly grasped the Kyrii as a shield while my eyes adjusted.

     Little known fact about us Wockies: our eyes are very light sensitive. That's why we're so good at seeing in the dark and spotting small things that normal eyes would just pass over. Unfortunately, that means if our eyes are fully adjusted to an almost complete dark, as mine had been due to my foolish habits, it can sometimes take as long as several minutes for our eyes to adjust to a sudden, bright light.

     Which means, for a minute or two anyway, I was nearly blind. Grasping her tightly, I whispered menacingly as I twitched my ears. "If you move so much as one muscle, say one word, or if I feel the slightest movement towards me, consider yourself my latest laboratory test subject."

     Blinking my contracting pupils rapidly, I listened to the Lupe claws scrabbling against my carpet. I detracted my claws as a warning. "No tricks," I said coldly, still tightly grasping the silly Kyrii, who at least had the sense not to test me. She'd have to be pretty dumb to struggle with the sharpness of my claws pressed against her neck.

     It took a very tense 75 or so seconds for things to become visible entirely, and the whole meantime my mind was racing on how to get out of this mess. I had their boss, but they had stupid leaderless mass against me, with a dangerous doubt as to how far their loyalty to their employer would last.

     When the picture before me rearranged itself properly, I looked around and saw things were certainly no longer pointing in my direction advantage-wise. As for the more literal sense of the word 'pointing in my direction', two black frost cannons were aimed straight at me. Naturally I kept my claws detracted for the time being, as a fight seemed imminent.

     One Lupe was greedily eyeing my computerized suitcase as he trained his frost cannon at me, while the other was standing directly behind me, just distant enough to be out of my reach, aiming his black frost cannon straight at my unprotected back.

     I probably would've at least asked what was going on then and there, except for the covetous way that Lupe was staring at my precious memo-briefcase. Time for a few old tricks. "Just to let ya know," I began as the one behind me fired, reflexively dropping Ms. Kyrii and leaping over the discharge, flipping in the air so as to land upright on my desk. "I've got some pretty awesome reflexes. And," I swiped my briefcase out of paws reach of the other Lupe. "This baby of mine is private property," I finished.

     The Kyrii girl angrily felt her new bruises, courtesy of myself, and looked at me in such an irate manner I could practically see the flames sprouting from her eyes. She was furious, but sadly not completely stupid. She knew she had the advantage, and my somewhat half-hearted attention.

     Since she seemed to have lost her command of Common Neopian in her fury, I began the conversation for her, all the while eyeing the frost cannons protruding from both Lupes. It would just be possible to jump two frost charges at the same time, but I'd rather not test my timing just yet.

     "Good morning, mademoiselle. So honored to see you again, as I'm sure the feeling is mutual. May I be so callously brave as to inquire as to the nature of you early visit upon my humble residence?" Well, hey, I could still have my sort of fun, which lies mainly in confusing others if at all possible.

     As expected, my sarcastic over-politeness infuriated her all the more. As she obviously realized she was completely powerless as to getting me to keep my mouth shut, she ground her teeth and finally icily replied.

     "I've come about the same matter I came yesterday about!" she snapped. "I've decided since I can't charm you into working for me, I'd try persuasive reasoning coupled with heavily-muscled backup."

     I just barely stopped myself from rolling my eyes, but I'm afraid my annoyance at her pompousness must have been easily evident from my exasperated body language. Translation: rotating my paws in the typical 'get on with it' gesture.

     I finally sighed, retracted my claws, and dropped into my large suede chair. "Go on with it, already. I'll tell you if I'll do anything for you after you give me the full story."

     "My Petpets have been stolen."

     I interrupted. "Petpets? I'm pretty sure the law is one Petpet per Neopet."

     "I have a special license." She tossed a very official looking sheet of paper onto my desk and I examined it carefully. Eventually, I handed the paper back to the Kyrii and motioned for her to continue.

     "As stated," she gestured with the paw containing the document, "I'm an official collector, trader, and distributor of Petpets. I usually have between fifty and sixty, but naturally that total is subject to change. Three days ago, I penned them up safely for the night. The next morning, yesterday, they were gone."

     "Exactly how many Petpets did you have? And please, a lump sum will do just fine."

     She frowned and mumbled to herself for a minute. I could hear snatches of Petpet species as she totaled them up. "Fifty, umm, fifty-three exactly."

     I leaned back in my large chair and thought. I didn't ask any questions, as I could easily find those answers myself. She herself didn't volunteer any more information.

     Thinking fast, I said, "I'll take the job, but the price is 6,000 NP-and that's cheap."

     Her eyes narrowed angrily. "I was told you'd do the job for 1,000."

     "Your source was wrong. And I don't bargain: 6,000 NP or nothing from me." I detracted my claws again and began rubbing them in an effort to look nonchalant.

     She stood there, furious. "What if I make you work for me?!" she exploded.

     I cocked my head to one side so it leaned against my neck-ruffle. "Honestly, Ms. Kyrii. Do you really think you can?"

     She stood still for a moment, but apparently I'd already proved enough of my talent to her so that she knew she wouldn't be able to force me into anything. She sighed, and I stood up and stretched.

     "Let's go to the scene of the crime." I snapped my briefcase shut and locked it. "Now would be just fine."

     Her eyebrows lowered in what was dangerously close to a scowl. I knew why, it was clear I was completely confusing her in defying every biased report made against detectives. Then she gave up trying to understand me and motioned me outdoors. "My house isn't too terribly far from here."

     I nodded and followed, ignoring the Lupes sill leveling their frost cannons my way. I wasn't about to tell her the real reason I didn't ask questions. Quite obviously, and with reason, I didn't trust her. Candidly, her story was incomplete and didn't make full sense at face value. Also, no matter what she may have thought from my open reactions, I doubted the authenticity of that certificate. I've yet to see a government-issued document without a seal. And she was going through far too much effort to get me to take her case.

To be continued...

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