If you use that charming memory of yours, you recall me hinting something
about an unjust accusation of Viper committing a crime... you'll discover the
details of this in this chapter, learning about a couple of new characters along
the way... oh, and I should welcome you to my newly renovated home...
Chapter VII-Innocent until Proven Guilty?
About an hour and a half later, Raven and Einstein sat
on the new leather couch and Viper lay on the new carpet, all of them reading
the Neopian News at 6.
"...In other news today a silent alarm went
off at the Neopian Museum. The object stolen was the Darkness Scarab from the
Lost Desert exhibit. Witnesses say the thief was indeed the winner of the Class
Three Battledome Tourney, Viper."
The family gasped, knowing that Viper was totally,
completely, one hundred percent, innocent. Shortly after-extremely shortly,
at that-the shack door swung open with a crash. Raven screamed as a Buzz
in a suit walked into the room, followed by a Draik who straightaway tackled
Viper. Before he could fight back, the blue Draik in a suit handcuffed him.
Einstein leapt off the couch and extracted his fairly sharp claws and was about
to attack, but stopped when the Buzz pulled out a gleaming badge.
"Officer Cooper, NCPD. RavynnWolfe, we have
a search warrant," announced the officer as he walked up to Viper who had given
up struggling. "Viper, you are under arrest for the robbing of an ancient artefact
known as the Darkness Scarab from the Neopian Museum. Anything you say or do
can and will be used against you in the court of law. You have the right to
remain silent. You've also the right to an attorney." As he said this, a team
of officers came in and began searching the shack from top to bottom.
"He didn't do anything!" shouted Raven, jumping
off the couch and putting down the newspaper.
The green Buzz nodded. "We have witnesses. They
say that they saw him pick open the case and take the Scarab." Cooper frowned
and growled bitterly. "They were too afraid he'd attack them if they said anything
at the time though..."
"He's innocent!" snarled the electric Eyrie,
pawing the ground angrily. He hadn't been so angry since he had been abandoned
at the pound.
"Cool it, kid, unless you want to get yourself
arrested, too." The officer looked at Raven. "We're taking him in for interrogation.
We'd like you two to come down to the station as well."
* * *
Twenty minutes later Viper sat cuffed to a chair, in an interrogation room
with a bright light shinning in his face. Raven and Einstein were in the lobby,
calling a lawyer even though they knew Viper wasn't guilty. The search party
hadn't found the Darkness Scarab at the house, but they were still convinced
that Viper was guilty.
Suddenly, the door slammed as an interrogation
officer walked in. He was a green Scorchio and he wore one of those cheesy trench
coats that people wore in old detective movies. He was the most notorious detective
in the force and his name was Crawford, Detective Black-Knight Crawford.
Crawford leaned onto the table and placed his
face right in front of Viper's. "Where were you at exactly 3:37 PM this afternoon?"
"I was... I was..." Beads of sweat trickled
down the mutant's forehead and he looked down guiltily. "I was at the museum."
"I rest my case," declared the Scorchio proudly.
"Guilty as charged."
"HEY!" Viper snapped, forgetting that this was
a police officer he was talking to who clearly had the power to put him behind
bars and keep it that way. "I didn't say I took the darn Scarab! At the time
I was in the Medieval room!" Only then did he realise that no one could vouch
for that, as the room was empty apart from him, Raven and Einstein.
Crawford bared his teeth and narrowed his eyes,
and was about to yell at his suspect when a red Gelert officer ran in. "RavynnWolfe
and X2495neo are gone! I think they did a runner!"
"What do you mean?" asked Crawford, getting
up from the table and walking towards the Gelert.
Got it, Detective?" said the officer slowly, saying each word clearly and loudly.
Crawford nodded irritably, growling and muttering, and the interrogation officer
left the room with the Gelert, locking the door behind them.
Then, out of instinct, Viper looked around for
something that might help him get loose. There! On the floor beside him, he
saw a little paper clip. It wasn't much, but he could pick at the cuffs with
it. Viper tried to tip the chair over by shifting his weight from side to side.
It was working! The chair tipped from side to side a few times before falling
to the ground with a crash. His shoulder and stab wound exploded with
pain, but Viper ignored them. He didn't have any time to lose. With his muzzle,
he gnawed at the paper clip for a bit, trying to pick up the little object,
before finally managing to hook it around one of his canines. He flung it over
his shoulder so he could reach it with his paws. The mutant snatched it up in
his left paw and untwisted it. Now the only problem was finding the keyhole.
Viper tried for one part of the cuff but missed and stabbed himself in the wrist.
He winced. This would be so much easier if I had eyes on the back of my head!
Out of the blue, something in his head, maybe
an old instinct or memory told him that the keyhole was on the other wrist and
lower down. Viper obeyed the mysterious voice in his mind, and sure enough he
hit his target. The Lupe twisted the paper clip around a bit before hearing
a satisfying click. Viper pulled his forepaws and the handcuffs snapped
open. He rolled off the chair and stood up.
Once again, the Lupe searched the room, his
heart pumping like a jackrabbit. He couldn't go out the door, but look! A window!
Sure enough, on the wall behind him was a small window. Suddenly he heard the
clunk, clunk, clunk of someone walking towards the very room he was in.
Not even thinking, he leapt straight at the window. The glass shattered instantly,
some of the remaining chunks tearing off several of the bandages that bound
Viper's wounds and digging into his skin. Luckily it was only a four-foot drop,
so Viper landed easily. The mutant could hear the door opening, but he didn't
stick around to find out the officers' reaction to his disappearance. Viper's
first response to the not so free freedom was to seek out refuge back at the
shack as well as see if Raven and Einstein had indeed ran back home.
"Raven!" called Viper as he burst through the
door, panting. There came no reply. "Raven?" Still, silence. He looked about
the main room. Nothing... except... On the island sat Einstein's laptop, its
monitor open. That's odd, thought Viper. Einstein never goes anywhere
without it. Curiously, and a bit nervously, he padded over to it. Its screen
was blank. Viper gave a sigh of relief and was about to shut it when little
white letters began scrolling across its black screen.
"Hello...Viper," whoever it was typed.
The mutant stared, dumbstruck, at the screen.
"What's wrong? Aisha got your tongue?"
"Wh-who are you?" questioned Viper, talking
to the air nervously. Whoever it was must have had the place bugged or something.
"Your worst enemy... >:)"
Viper didn't have the time to respond, for more
letters were already scrolling across the screen. "The window..."
The mutant Lupe cocked his head and went over
to the only window in the house, which was in the living room. First, he saw
nothing, but then a great orb of light burst through the window, shattering
the glass, and struck Viper. Pain seared through his body and then everything
To be continued...