18th day of Storing
What’s the first thing you remember?...
I awoke in a daze, but as reality slowly faded into view, I took in my surroundings. I was aboard the Virtupets Space Station. Adjusting my eyes to the slight haze that drifted into my room from the outside hall lights, I could tell it was early morning.
Glancing slowly around the room I found myself in, I anxiously attempted to recall whose room it was. The style was Zen, and for the life of me, could not tell if that was something I was into. Why could not I remember where I was?...
Sliding my hand into my pants pocket I pulled out a crumpled sheet of paper. Cautiously opening it, I saw someone had scribbled down two lines of words.
You’re Victor Hayes. Solve the case.
Don’t trust the Grundos. Only she can help you.
“Good morning, Victor,” a female voice softly called from across the room.
I turned my body to see who had spoken and noticed a brown female Yurble sitting in a chair in a corner of the room. Only the dim light of the hallway lit the room, casting an eerie mask over her face.
“How are you feeling? We had a really close call... but we did it. We solved your case!” She seemed excited as she spoke and she leaned forward, allowing her face to come into view. At least she was not a Grundo.
“Why can not I remember where I am?” I asked hoarsely, coughing as I sat up straight, “and what time is it?”
“It is about seven in the morning. Victor, you were in an accident here on the Space Station, while you were trying to solve your case. A blaster misfired, striking your head, and you suffered a major trauma. You lived... but sadly in the process of keeping you stable, your memory was severely ruined. I was assigned as your partner for the case, and we finally found the one called ‘Agent.’ Case closed.”
Straining to remember what the Yurble was talking about, I dug into my mind, but came up empty. It was like being trapped in a pure white room, looking for an exit that did not exist, or at least for me... I could not see it. Going by the note that I wrote, I had completed my mission... and I could trust her.
“So what happens now?” I asked, massaging my forehead with my hands.
“To tell the truth, I really don’t know. We were on this case for almost two weeks, but now that it’s over and the Station is safe, you may return to your normal life... which is not that, normal, ever since your accident,” she replied as she stood up, making her way towards to me.
“Who was the Agent? Why did we want him?” I wondered, hoping that by some miracle my memory would return at any moment and I would remember.
“The Agent was an evil Neopet who believed this Station held a secret. The secret was a plan Sloth had locked away for many years, and would be safe for his return. The Agent believed he found the location of the secret, but luckily, we stopped him before he could use it,” she paused, “and I think it’s time you got some sleep. You look like you have not slept in days.”
She was right... I felt fatigue creeping through my body. The case was closed. The Agent was stopped... I could trust her. Taking a pencil that sat on the table next to me, I scribbled down another line to the sheet of paper.
The Agent has been stopped, I can go home...
I closed my eyes, and felt myself drift into nothingness as I smiled from ear to ear.
17th day of Storing
What happened to me...
Taking the sheet of paper from my pants, I looked at the lines I had written for myself.
You’re Victor Hayes. Meet Faiza at the Café on the 17th.
Solve the case. Don’t trust the Grundos.
What did I have against Grundos? What case? Who is Faiza?
I glanced around the cafeteria I was seated in to see unfamiliar faces walking and chatting with their friends. They were enjoying the afternoon as best they could on a Space Station.
It was odd... I could remember some things, but not others. I knew I was aboard a Space Station. I knew I was a blue Gelert. I knew... I did not know my own name! I glanced at the sheet of paper again. I am Victor Hayes. I had a case to solve.
“Victor!” a voice called, causing me to turn. “Where have you been?”
A female disco Ixi was making her way towards my table and seemed pleased to see me. She was not a Grundo, so I guess I could listen to her.
“Are you here to help me with the case?” I asked, as I looked at the paper.
“Of course silly, it’s me-” she began, but hesitated, “Faiza. Oh, I am sorry, Victor, I forgot about your condition for a second there. It’s just I got so caught up in this case we are working on and when we got this new lead, I rushed over here as soon as I could. We know where the Agent is. Right now.” She smiled as she sat, waiting for me to reply. “Oh, and make sure to take that note off your paper of yours, before you forget.”
I erased the note about meeting with Faiza while I tried to understand what she was talking about.
“The who?” I struggled to seem interested, as I didn’t know who or what an Agent was.
“The Agent! The one we have been after for months! The one who gave you your condition!” Faiza nearly shouted from frustration, but stopped herself. “I’m sorry Victor, it’s just I feel so bad for you sometimes... I do not know how you do it. How it does not get to you. Every day you wake up and you are a clean slate... You start to daydream or drift off in the middle of a conversation and you forget where you are...” She seemed sincere as she spoke, her eyes staying in contact with mine.
“Well... thanks for being here for me, Faiza.” I smiled and removed a pencil from my pocket. Quickly I scribbled down a sentence on the sheet of paper.
Only she can help you.
“So this Agent person is somehow linked to my case? The Agent gave me my condition?” I inquired, feeling a sudden rush of adrenaline.
”Yes and we now know where she is right now. We can stop her once and for all!” Faiza exclaimed while standing up.
“Then what are we waiting for? Take me to her.” I rapidly felt as if my life had purpose again. Whoever this Agent Neopet was... I had to stop her. It was my case... it’s all I had to go on.
Faiza led me out of the café and down one of the winding hallways. As we walked, Faiza explained the situation and removed a Sleep Ray from a bag she was carrying and handed it to me.
“The Agent is very dangerous, Victor, so we must be very careful and this goes double for you. She will try to confuse you, trick you, and do anything she can to avoid capture. We only have one shot at this, so let us do it right. She’s the one we are after, and she caused your condition. Once we take her down and turn her in, your case will be solved,” Faiza instructed me, checking her own Sleep Ray, and then slipping it into a holster on her lower back.
“Are we part of the security force here on the Space Station?” I asked, looking over the blaster she handed me.
“Yes, and the Agent is trying to disrupt the peace. We can not let that happen, Victor, or innocent Neopets will get hurt. Here, this is the room, slow down and keep quite,” the Ixi explained, holding up her hand balled in a fist.
We moved to either side of the door, and I held the blaster out in front of me. Faiza slid one of her hands behind her and moved her other to knock on the door. She nodded to me and tapped the door twice.
“Who is it?” a female voice called from inside the room.
“Virtupets Space Station security, open up!” I shouted, knocking the Sleep Ray on the door.
There was a slight pause, and part of me thought I heard a soft clicking noise. The door slid open, and I saw now the noise had been the Agent turning off the lights. Faiza moved in first and I followed close behind, Sleep Ray level with my chest.
When we were both in, the door slid closed behind us, sending the entire room into a blanket of darkness. I squinted my eyes to the best of my ability, but it was of no use, I could not see.
The pitch-black room unexpectedly burst into light as someone fired a Sleep Ray blaster. I immediately dove to the ground and waited as I heard the sound of someone collapsing on the floor, asleep from the blaster’s effect.
Part of me wanted to call for Faiza, but I restrained myself, knowing there was a slight chance it could have been the Agent who fired. Carefully standing up, I raised my blaster and glanced around the room, trying to remember where the shot had come from. Sadly, to my dismay, the Agent had seen me when she shot.
“Sorry I had to use you like that, Victor, but it was for your own good,” the Agent whispered, pressing a Sleep Ray to my back.
I heard the blaster fire, and I felt a rush of exhaustion run through my body. I was so close... to completing my case...
16th day of Storing
Who can I talk to...
I found myself staring blankly at a wall, with a pencil in one hand and a piece of crumbled paper in the other. There were only four sentences written by what I guessed was my hand writing.
You’re Victor Hayes. Mark handles the Mail, trustworthy?
Meet Faiza at the Café on the 17th. Solve the case.
At least I knew who I was and what I was doing. I wiped the sweat from my forehead and tried to remember the last thing my mind would allow. I came up empty handed.
“Probably a memory lapse,” I said aloud and pocketed the paper and pencil.
Glancing around, I spotted a door marked ‘Station Neomail’ and seemed as good of place as any to look around. Maybe find some clues as to what exactly my case was that I needed to solve. The Neomail room was a large empty cargo hold, whose walls were filled with boxes for everyone who lived on board.
Grundos of every size and color were wandering about, inspecting boxes and marking down what they saw on their clipboards. One in particular noticed me standing in the entrance and made his way over.
“Ah, Victor, where have you been hiding these days?” the green Grundo asked and held out his hand.
I shook it apprehensively, trying to recall his name.
“I’m Mark, remember? Oh that’s right, you told me you had a condition... something about not remembering names or such. That’s fine... anywho, you told me to hold all your mail and give it to you personally, so here you go,” he unfastened a letter from this clipboard, “the only letter to come in for you, so far.”
“Thanks, Mark, you have been really helpful.” I took the letter and shook hands with the Grundo. “It means a lot to know I have someone that’s here for me.”
“No worries, Victor, I kind of feel bad for you and all. Anyways, I am going to get back to work now. Maybe next time you’ll get more mail.” The Grundo waved his clipboard and walked away.
I skimmed over the letter in my hands and noticed it felt lighter than I would expect. There was no return address and the style of writing seemed vaguely familiar. Opening it, I found a neatly folded piece of paper with a single sentence written across it:
“Don’t trust the Grundos.” -Victor
My eyes followed Mark around the Neomail room and I suddenly wondered if he was hiding something from me. How long had I been aboard the Space Station? How much mail had I been receiving... Was he keeping an important letter from me?
I took my pencil and paper from my pocket and erased Mark’s line I had written down.
You’re Victor Hayes. Meet Faiza at the Café on the 17th.
Solve the case. Don’t trust the Grundos.
I slowly walked up to Mark and hoped to get some answers from him, without giving away what I knew.
“Mark, quick question,” I called out. “How long have I been aboard the Station?”
Mark thought about it for a moment then replied, “About a week, why?”
“And I only received this one letter so far?” I asked.
“Yeah... why?” Mark looked at me with an inquisitive gaze.
“No reason,” I concluded and turned to walk out of the Neomail room.
Mark was hiding something and I was going to find out what.
15th day of Storing
Case, what case?
“Victor? Victor! I’m talking to you,” a voice called to me that seemed a mile away.
I opened my eyes and found myself staring at a brown Yurble seated across the table from me.
“You blacked out again, didn’t you?” she asked, tilting her head to the side. “You have got to get that looked at, Victor, it can’t be good for your health.”
I glanced around the room, and pieced together I was in a dining hall of some sort, or a café. The room was filled with other Neopets, so it was one of the major meals of the day... but which?
“I am sorry, but who are you?” I asked frankly turning back to the Yurble, catching her in the middle of her speech.
“I’m Faiza, your partner, silly, the one assigned to your case with you. You requested a friend, so you could have someone to help you along the way in case you got sidetracked or lost. By the way, while we are on the topic of keeping on track, take note to meet me here in two days. It’ll be most important,” Faiza continued and pointed to my pocket.
Curious at to what she was trying to indicate; I reached into my pants and removed a piece of paper and a pencil. Without waiting to forget, I quickly scribbled down a line next to my other notes:
Meet Faiza at the Café on the 17th.
“I’ve got to go for now, Victor, but I need you to do something for me; I need you to take this letter to a friend of mine who lives in 307.” She wrote the number and instructions down on the letter itself and handed it to me. “It’s nothing for you to worry about. I’ll see you on the 17th.”
With that, Faiza stood from the table and made her way through the crowds and out of the café. I shifted my gaze to the letter and the instructions she left for me. Judging by how bad my memory was, and how serious she sounded, I needed to deliver this letter.
I found the 300 hallway and found room 307 even sooner. Knocking on the door, I waited for a reply.
“Who is it?” a voice called from inside.
“It’s... Victor?” I responded, not sounding very sure of myself.
“Who?” The door opened and a disco Ixi stood in the entrance. “You’re not part of the security force, are you?”
“No miss, I’m... I really don’t know to tell the truth,” I sighed and showed her the letter, “but a friend of yours told me to give you this.”
The Ixi took the letter and read the note on the outside first. She glanced at me and then opened the paper and quickly scanned the note.
“Ah, by friend, you meant my Space Station contact?” the Ixi replied with a gleeful smile. “Come in! Come in! Mark always picks a winner.”
I followed the Ixi into her room and sat down in the closest chair. The room was sparsely decorated, save for a few personal items here and there that I guessed belonged to the Ixi.
“According to this letter, you’re here to help get the tail off my back? Good... very good... I knew someone was following me and it’s about time those Grundos came through. Can’t trust Grundos sometimes, but they do have their moments... seems we’ll have to go by code names, and yours is... Victor? No wonder you sounded so antsy before,” the Ixi read, “and mine will be Faiza. Perfect. We’ll meet on the 17th in the café and hit the tail, and then I’ll have no one to stand in my way! Ha, I love it! The world will be mine!”
The Ixi laughed to herself and regarded me.
“You know why you’re here, right?” she asked me, her laughter gone and a look of complete seriousness took her face.
“No... why...?” I asked, not knowing how to respond.
“Victor, you’re on a case here, and it’s of the most importance that everything goes according to plan. I want you to talk to no one. I want you to go nowhere. In fact, don’t even talk to Grundos anymore, as they can’t be trusted,” she answered.
“But what about Mark in the Neomail room?” I wondered, thinking of my paper.
“Mark's a good fellow, and he’s my contact on board the Station,” the Ixi noted, “but you can’t trust him anymore, or the other Grundos. Write yourself a note, right now.”
She slid me a blank sheet of paper and an envelope.
“I don’t want you giving anything away to those Grundos, as they’re pretty good at reading people’s character and faces. Write the note down, and I’ll mail it to you. By the time you receive it, we’ll be set for the plan anyways, and nothing will go wrong.” She looked at me. “Got it? Now, write yourself a real note on your little paper in your pocket. You’ve got a case to solve, and it’s most important. Good... very good, there’s a good Yurble.”
I nodded as I listened and finished all my writing.
You’re Victor Hayes. Mark handles the Mail, trustworthy?
Meet Faiza at the Café on the 17th. Solve the case.
14th day of Storing
What’s going on?
“I am Victor Hayes,” I said aloud, hoping to remember this time. “I am Victor Hayes. I work for Station Security.”
I continued to chant the words as I walked up the Space Station’s hallways, trying as hard as I could to make it stick. But sadly, every time I put the piece of paper away, I found it impossible to say who I was.
“I am Victor Hayes,” I recited again, looking at the paper.
“Well, watch where you’re going!” a male voice shouted from the other side of the paper.
I looked to see a small green Grundo walking with a clipboard under one arm and carrying a stack of letters in a free hand.
“I’m sorry sir, it’s just I get a tad forgetful sometimes. Can’t even remember my name,” I explained.
“So I could tell you anything I wanted, and you would not remember?” The Grundo thought out loud.
“It would not be the first time someone has done it – not that I know for sure. Why I have probably heard the secrets of life at one time or another, but I would not be able to recite them...” I answered unhappily.
“The name’s Mark,” the Grundo held out his hand, “and I work in the Neomail room.”
“May I write that down?” I asked, taking a pencil from my pocket, “and you said you work here?”
“Sure, that I do not mind you writing down,” he answered with a laugh, “and tack on I am extremely honest while you are at it. Ask me anything you want to know and I’ll answer truthfully. As for working here, I have been on this Station for almost ten years now... and speaking honestly, never seen you before. I do not think you work for the Security force.”
“Really?” I wondered as I glanced at my paper.
“I am telling you, kid, I have been here for half my life, and I have never seen you once before aboard this Station,” he answered, crossing his arms.
Quickly erasing and jotting down the new information, I reread my new note, “I am Victor Hayes. Mark handles the Mail and is very honest.”
“Perfect!” He laughed to himself and then added, “Say kid, how about I give you all your mail personally, as you will probably forget to come by and pick them up if you get any letters.”
“Wow, that would be great!” I replied. “You are not only honest but very helpful as well.”
“Currently I have a delivery, so I will talk to you later,” Mark noted and began walking away, down the hallway.
I returned to my note and review what I really wrote,
Mark handles the Mail, trustworthy?
You can never be too careful when it comes to strangers...
13th day of Storing
Who am I, really?
“Next please!” a red Bruce called and pointed in my direction.
I gathered my things in hand and made my way through the hallway as he checked my ticket.
“Welcome aboard, Mr. Finn,” the Bruce smiled, “and is there anything I can help you with today?”
I hesitated at first but decided it was important enough to inquire.
“Where am I, exactly, if you don’t mind me asking?”
The Bruce looked at me as if I were joking, but decided to go along with my ‘game.’
“The Virtupets Space Station sir, and when Queen Fyora arrives, I’ll make sure to send her to you as soon as possible. I’ll take your things to your room now.” He laughed to himself as he took my ticket and luggage.
I thanked him, but first decided to see if I really was in space. Glancing out the closest window, I was amazed at the view that greeted my eyes. Neopia, stars and other breathtaking sights filled my gaze and I felt as if I had been standing there for hours.
“Quite a sight, isn’t it?” a female voice asked from behind me.
“Yeah...” I replied, and turned to see a brown Yurble. “I’m sorry, but how long have I been standing here?”
“Only a few minutes now, why?” she asked, with notable concern.
“Because...” I started, “I don’t remember why I’m here. Or where I was going for that matter.”
She looked at me for a moment, as if trying to decide what to say next. Finally she spoke.
“Victor, it’s okay. We’re on a case, if you remember... oh Victor, you forgot again, didn’t you? You need to get a better system to cover your condition!” the Yurble explained, and looked in her bag she was carrying, pulling out a piece of paper and a pencil. “Take note, ‘I am Victor Hayes. I work for Station Security.’”
“Thanks...” I began, trying to remember her name, as she seemed so familiar, but alas I couldn’t think of it.
“I’m Faiza, Victor... your partner!” Faiza answered with a laugh. “I swear, sometimes I just don’t know what I’m going to do with you, Victor!”
“Well, at least now I have some direction...” I laughed along with her. “So, what do we do now?”