Lupe opened her eyes to see herself on a plush green sofa. Looking around to see
a coffee table in front of her and another green sofa on her right, she realized
that she was in the lounge on the first floor of Carpetia's house.
"Well, it worked," she said to no one in particular. "Now, what was the returning
phrase again? Oh yeah, return to warp!"
With that, she found herself gazing out of the green cylinder. Carp grinned
at her. "You see? That worked nicely, didn't it?"
Lupe nodded. "You know, that's something you have there. Can you go anywhere
Carp spoke up. "Yep, now people won't have to spend so much time traveling!
All they have to do is use the warp machine, and viola!"
"So you can go anywhere… but you only have one model, right? And won't it
be rather complicated for people who don't have big rooms to put this huge thing
"Well, Mist and I are planning on making a compact model and then selling
it for millions to a mass producer. And even though it doesn't look it, this
model is actually portable. All you have to do is this!" Carp pressed a blue
button next to the monitor, and suddenly the green cylinder began to disappear
into the base, until only the metal base and the ramp were left.
"How'd you do that?"
"The walls of the cylinder are actually real flexible and thin. They were
made that way, and they simply fold into themselves, and the folds are stored
inside the base. And then," Carpetia pushed another blue button and the base
slowly rose upwards to reveal a set of wheels, "you can push it around. Neat,
huh? It was mostly Mist's idea, though."
"You did a good part of it too, Carp."
"I have a question." Mist and Carp looked at Lupe.
"Another one?" asked Mist, grinning.
Lupe blushed. "I was wondering if you could get into secure places too? Like
banks and people's NeoHomes?"
There was a long pause. "I never thought of that." Mist finally admitted.
"It's possible, I suppose… maybe we can think up something to prevent the warp
from getting into some places. Taking them off the map, maybe. At any rate,
we won't be actually selling this model for a while anyway, so we can think
up something first."
Lupe nodded. "Of course." She looked at the clock over Mist's bed. 6:30. She'd
been here for two hours already, though it didn't seem that long. "I should
go home, I have to pick up some fresh baguettes from the bakery."
Carpetia led her back through the house. "That's fine, of course. Goodbye,
"Goodbye, Carp!" Neither pet noticed the strange shadow under the bushes.
"Today's weather forecast shows cloudy skies and strong winds, with a 63%
chance of rain in the afternoon. Average temperature is about 42 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is Ralph Blumaroo, signing off. Back to you, Olivia"
"Thank you Ralph. Well, top story today involves a mysterious robbery in which
six hundred million NPs were taken from the bank. The Neopian Police Force has
yet to find evidence for this mystifying theft. Neither the doors of the building
nor the vaults appear to be forced or tampered with, so it appears that the
robbers must have used another way in. More information will be released later
on today. We'll be back after a word from our sponsors." A robbery in which
the robbers didn't use the doors? Lupe frowned. That was strange. Yawning, she
turned off the television and went upstairs to sleep some more. It was still
very early, not even dawn, and none of her family was awake. Even the Beekadoodles
weren't up and singing yet. As she settled under the covers of her bed, the
"LUPE! DID YOU TELL ANYONE?!?"
It was Carpetia, and she sounded extremely annoyed by something.
"What are you talking about? Tell anyone about what?"
"THE MACHINE!! THE WARP!!"
"Whoa, calm down. What about the machine?"
Lupe listened as Carpetia took a deep breath.
"The machine. It's gone! Everything, the notes, the machine, the research,
everything! Someone stole it!"
Lupe stared at the phone.
"Gone? Seriously? How is that possible? You guys have the best security and
"Yeah, I'm serious. Well, it must not be very good security, is it? Either
that, or they're really good crooks. So much for satellite security, and besides,
we weren't home yesterday. I just went downstairs to look at it, and it was
gone. Vanished, just like that." There was a sigh, and then, "All that work…"
"Can't you rebuild it? And…" A thought struck Lupe: A robbery that didn't
use doors… "Oh no!"
"No we can't rebuild it, they took all the info, remember Lupe? And what's
so oh no?"
"The robbery. Did you watch the news on NTV this morning?"
"Neopian TV? No… I just woke up, why?"
"There was a robbery. The robbers took 600 mill, and they didn't break in."
There was a long pause.
"Oh… Faerie Queen."
"That pretty much sums it up. Did anyone know about the warp machine besides
Mist, me, and you?"
"No, we didn't tell anyone. But…" Lupe heard Carpetia groan on the other end
of the line.
"ARGH! We left the windows open yesterday when we were doing that demonstration
with you yesterday! Anyone passing by could have seen or heard us!" Another
pause. "Though, most people wouldn't be up at that time, of course, but there
are plenty of early birds. And Mist and I got a bunch of books on physics and
such, and asked around a lot, and we had a rather loud and lengthy discussion
near the Money Tree about our plans early in the morning once. We never actually
mentioned the machine, but anyone with half a mind could have overheard and
"So, you're saying that anyone could have found out and stolen the stuff?"
"Well, then there's only one thing to do. Find out who it is, and stop them.
It also might be useful to start on something to keep the warp from going to
certain places like we discussed yesterday."
"You're right. We'll get right to work."
To be continued...