Undercover Defenders - The New Partner: Part Two
5:54 AM – The Headquarters of the Undercover Defenders of Neopia
My first thought was how absolutely amazing the place was. The Undercover Defenders of Neopia department was a huge floor plan, as big as my kitchen, living room, and dining room combined times ten. Desks were in the middle of the room, turned in every direction quite randomly with Neopets of all types working diligently. Four huge monitors that were mounted on the wall dominated the room with machines beeping repeatedly and Neopets typing quickly on keyboards. I was enchanted by the sight – I had never seen a computer before because I had never been to Virtupets but I guessed the Defenders had a deal with them. On the left side of the room, there was a window, showing a room with file cabinets against the walls all the way to the ceiling and rows of them in the middle. Neopets inside were opening up the cabinets, grabbing manila files and hurriedly shutting them. Windows were also on the back wall, showing an office and a conference room. I couldn’t help but look in every direction to take it all in. I couldn’t believe was actually going to work here and my miniscule suspicions of the Undercover Defenders being a hoax instantly faded away.
This was the real deal.
“Impressive, isn’t it?” said Adella proudly, jerking me out of my trance.
“It’s amazing!” I exclaimed. “I’ve never seen anything like it! Are those computers from Virtupets? I’m really going to work here?” I felt like a child again, fascinated by everything and wanting to know more.
“The computers are from the finest programmers on Virtupets,” Adella said. “All of our technology is; we are the Defenders of Neopia, after all. Now we must get down to business. Come to my office.”
She headed down the aisle towards the office and I followed quickly. I couldn’t help but notice many other Neopets were staring at me and whispering to each other. Did they realize that, starting today, I was to work with them?
I went into Adella’s office. It was small and cramped, due to the fact there were more filing cabinets here, stuck on the walls although not to the ceiling like in the other room. Her desk was in the middle, covered in papers. How did she manage to work in here? I took the chair in front of the desk and Adella shut the door, flicked on the light switch, and sat at her desk, moving the papers in a pile on the side.
“So the quicker the better,” said Adella, clapping her hands together, “let me inform you how this whole place works.”
“Okay,” I said, excited. I was dying to know more about this place. It was so awesome.
“Everyone in this place,” Adella started, “works very hard since we have to keep it a secret. We could hire more people to make our job easier, but the secret could be leaked easier with more pets. So there are only a few jobs here. One is an Agent, someone who goes out on missions and directly faces the danger to Neopia. That’s your job,” Adella said, acknowledging me with a nod. “We rank our Agents from their mission statistics and the higher rank you are, the more dangerous the missions you are to receive.”
“What rank am I, if I even have one yet?” I asked curiously.
“You don’t have a rank,” said Adella, “because you’ve only just joined. We’ll give you a rank after you’ve been here for a bit. There are twenty five other agents here but I’ll go into more detail later; there are other things to be learned.
“Agents aren’t the only job here. Another is a Filer. A Filer is someone who organizes and examines information. We have to find things that may become a threat to Neopia so Filers look for connections in information or abnormalities and report it to me or one of my assistants. For example, they look for patterns in unsolved crimes and find connections with the case with other crimes. With this information, they help us determine the location of the criminal while the Agents track them down. Most of the Neopets in the main room are Filers since they are a huge necessity to this department; Agents couldn’t do anything without them. Are you following me so far?”
“I think so,” I said. “Agents go on missions and Filers work with information.”
“Good,” said Adella approvingly. “Now the information comes from Informants – Neopets who are permanently stationed in places to provide information for us. For example, there are about three Neopets living in the Lost Desert that tell us about the political happenings and such. They only come in every few months to give information, so you probably won’t see any today or anytime soon.”
“Right,” I said, but I could hardly believe that all the Neopets in the main room and many others could keep such a large and amazing department a secret. Then again, I hadn’t heard of the department until Adella had told me, so I guess their system was working.
“Next there are four computer operators. They work with transmissions and security cameras, and work on the computer information database. They also help Agents when they need it on missions. It’s an extremely challenging job since they need to know programming and other skills just to use the computer. They had to have spent at least five years on the Virtupets Space Station just to have enough experience for this job. We’re lucky that the Station gave us these computers to us.”
I wanted to know more about computers, but Adella continued.
“Lastly, there’s me – the Superintendent – and my assistants. I overlook everything the Undercover Defenders do and give out missions to Agents of the highest ranks. My assistants help me with those tasks. We have a very broad job area.
“Now everyone who works in the building works from 6 AM sharp to 6 PM when the night shift takes over. We have to work long hours because we don’t have many Neopets. The night shift itself only contains an assistant superintendent, a computer operator and five filers. But we must endure this for the sake of the world.”
I couldn’t help be awed by the desert Gelert’s last words but I didn’t feel burdened by the commitment to the job – I was excited and honored to be a part of it.
Adella grabbed a water bottle from a drawer in her desk and took a long sip. “I’ve been talking a lot today,” she commented to me. “I’m wearing out my throat! But now we’ll focus on your job – being an Agent.”
I straightened up in my chair since I had been slightly slouching a little from the massive flow of information. I’d definitely been looking forward to this, ever since Adella had told me about the Undercover Defenders on Krawk Island eleven days previous.
“Agents have the most dangerous job here. They have to directly put themselves in harm’s way to accomplish the mission. Mostly they will go undercover in order to break up villainous activity or take a villain off the streets. This is far from easy since you have to do your job and keep it a secret. I was once an Agent myself,” added Adella, a little proudly, “so I know first handedly what it’s like. Don’t trust anyone except yourself or your partner. Speaking of partners, let’s talk about yours.”
“Partner?” I echoed, bemused. Did Adella ever mention a partner to me?
“I knew I forgot something,” said Adella. “Yes, I’m assigning you to work with a partner when you begin your job as an Agent. Most Agents work alone, but I can assign a partner to an Agent to ensure mission safety and higher success. I’m not sending you on a mission anytime soon, but you’ve already done some things that Agents don’t do until years into their career.”
I felt my heart rise in the praise but Adella kept going.
“Your partner is Levialy Descot. She’s a silver Acara and a great Agent. You’ll be working with her so you can learn more about the Undercover Defenders but I’ll assign you to work by yourself when you’ve gotten your rank. Now –“
“What rank is she?” I couldn’t help but blurt out. I had to know how good of an Agent Levialy was. I wanted a competent Agent to be my partner.
“She’s rank one,” said Adella. “The best of all the Agents. She’s never failed on a mission. Ever. It’s quite an achievement; she’s the first pet in the history of our department to do so. She used to have a partner, but he retired six months ago and she's been working alone since.”
“Wow,” I said, awed. Never failed a mission. Now I get to work with her! Even as Adella said it, she looked impressed as well. “What’s she like?”
Adella’s impressed look had instantly become guarded.
“Well,” she said. “I guess she’s rather... um... unique. Yeah...that’s a good way to put it. But honestly, it’s better to see for yourself. So let’s go meet her.” Adella got up from her desk but then said, “Oh yeah and from this moment on, I’m officially your boss. But please, just call me Adella and follow orders.”
As we left the office, I couldn’t help but wonder why Adella was so uncomfortable when she talked about my partner and with every step I took, I felt an ominous feeling take place of my curiosity.
To be continued...