Undercover Defenders - The New Partner: Part Four
10:32 AM – Main Room, Undercover Defenders Headquarters
“Levi, Segyx, come here, quick,” called Adella urgently from outside her office.
“What now?” Levi muttered mutinously, but stood up alongside me.
When we entered the office, Adella was ripping through papers and files, agitated.
“Close the door,” she said as she rolled her chair to a filing cabinet and grabbed some files. “Quickly, quickly, we don’t have all day!” We both complied, though Levi’s eyes were narrowed as Adella began handing us files.
“We have a problem,” said Adella grimly, as Levi and I began skimming through the files. “A thieves’ guild in the outskirts of Neopia Central is planning a heist. A big one. They’re targeting the National Neopian Bank. Now, we’d been watching this group for a while now, but recently this group has acquired a huge amount of members in an unprecedented amount of time and they’re all dangerous. I sent an Agent to look at their progress today and he ended up stealing the plans about the heist. It’s all in the files.”
Levi and I had been looking through the files, which were filed with the profiles of highly dangerous robbers and criminals. I was only familiar with pirates so I didn’t know any of them and only looked through the files out of obligation. Levi, on the other hand, was drinking in every word in each file, her eyebrows furrowed in concentration.
“Adella,” Levi said slowly, closing the file she was reading with a snap. “Are you telling us to go stop this heist with this limited information and limited notice? When is this heist anyway?”
Adella hesitated for a moment but then said, “10 PM, tonight.”
Levi stared at her for a moment. “You’re absolutely out of your mind today, Adella. Did you have your morning coffee today?”
Adella ignored Levi’s comment and went straight to the point. “These thieves need to be stopped, Levi, before it gets out of hand. Don’t you realize how much panic it will cause if the National Neopian Bank gets robbed by some unknown guild?”
Levi opened her mouth in protest but I interrupted her.
“I thought I wasn’t going on missions for a while.”
“You weren’t,” replied Adella, “But there aren’t any other Agents here today because they’re all out on missions. You and Levi have to do this mission.”
I looked at the many profiles of the thieves and my heart seemed to fail. Sure, I’ve taken down pirates, maybe about seven at once but they were all extremely weak. How was I supposed to take down over fifty of them at once and keep it a secret? Not to mention, Levi would have to help me and that just made everything seem completely overwhelming.
But Levi didn’t look afraid at all of this ominous task. She just looked outraged.
“Adella,” she started, trying to keep her frustration under control, “We only have less than twelve hours to infiltrate an enemy with an unknown number and skill level and take them all down yet keeping it secret.” Levi’s voice began rising with every word. “And I only just met my partner today so I don’t know his skills yet. THIS IS COMPLETELY LUDICROUS!”
For only a moment did Adella look nervous at the truth in Levi’s words. But only a moment. Her face suddenly turned as hard as stone and said, “You have to do it, Levi. The closest Agent from here is four hours away and we can’t waste any more time as it is. I know you can do this, Levi. And so can you, Segyx.”
She turned towards me now, and although her face was still hard, Adella’s brown eyes looked concerned.
“I know I told you I wouldn’t give you a mission but this is of absolutely importance, Segyx. Nothing will stop the thieves now that their plan is set but you’re already a very capable Agent, Segyx. I knew that the moment I saw you. Just follow your instincts and you’ll be fine. Levi and you will make a very good team.”
“As long as he doesn’t mess up,” Levi added and Adella glared at her. But I felt a lot more reassured now. I no longer felt like I was going throw up the butterflies in my stomach. I felt as strong and confident as I used to be when I was going to capture rogue pirates.
“I’ll be fine,” I said firmly and Adella smiled slightly at my determination. Then her face turned stern again as she rounded up on Levi again.
“Do not cause any unnecessary trouble like the last time,” she said with a slight growl as Levi gave her an innocent look. “I apologize to you, Segyx; she’s just being difficult today because she’s unhappy about this morning. Don’t take it personally,” she said, glaring at Levi. I couldn’t help but wonder anxiously what in Neopia Levi could have done to earn such a poisonous look from her boss.
“Okay then,” Levi said, popping out of her chair and grabbing files from Adella’s desk and my paws. “Since you seem to be done lecturing us, Adella, we’d better go – time’s a wastin’, you know.” And with that, Levi pulled me up with surprising strength and literally dragged me out of the room with one hand.
“Good luck!” the desert Gelert called as the silver Acara kicked the door shut behind her.
11:13 AM – Neopia Central, outside the Coffee Shop in the Deep Catacombs
Levi dragged me around through the busy streets of Neopia for about forty minutes until she came to a halt outside the Coffee Shop.
“Why are we here?” I asked, as she quickly bought a pile of Snowberry Delights and plain coffee inside of the Coffee Shop and sat down at a stone table outside of the shop. I sat down and she tossed me a cake which I began stuffing in my mouth – I hadn’t eaten anything since the night before because I had been too excited to eat in the morning.
“This is the best place to read the files Adella gave us,” Levi said as she handed her Faerie Seti a cake under the table, who began eating it greedily. “You see, many Neopians read literature down here or look at art so it wouldn’t look very suspicious for us to read so many different files on the table as we eat.” She began taking out files from her Pack of Holding on her back and spread them out on the table.
“So what do we do now?” I said, trying not to be impressed by Levi’s thinking; I was still mad about her insulting Moehawk.
Levi took a big gulp of her coffee, swallowed, and said, “We really need a plan.”
“Do you have one?” I asked, “Because I really don’t have a clue how we capture... what was it, fifty thieves?”
“That was the last recorded number, but it was two days ago,” Levi said, musing over a file. “So there’s probably more now. I can’t believe they recruited thirty four criminals in three days; I’ve never heard of such a thing. No wonder Adella was worried...”
“More thieves,” I repeated faintly. I started to feel nauseous again and stopped eating my Snowberry Delight.
“But I already made a plan,” Levi said as she began to eat a Delight. “But that’s later, ‘cause we got to work out some things first.”
“Work out what, Levi?” I said impatiently. “Just tell me the plan; we’ve got less than eleven hours!”
“Ah, but the plan won’t work if you don’t know some things,” said Levi cryptically.
“Then tell me,” I said through my teeth. Seriously, every time I thought Levi was going to have a breakthrough moment she seemed to destroy it herself.
“Well, I think we need to learn more about each other,” said Levi brightly. “Or you need to know more about me anyway since I already read your file.”
“You read my file?” I said, surprised. “Prudence told me earlier that Agents can’t read other Agents' files.”
“We’re not really supposed to,” Levi confessed. “But I was just so curious after I met you that I crept over into Adella’s empty office room without even thinking about it....”
“Really,” I said sarcastically but I was startled from Levi’s lack of respect for the rules and also because I couldn’t remember a moment that Levi had gotten up during the morning. When in Neopia did she get the file?
“Really,” said Levi in mock seriousness. “So what did you hear about me this morning?”
“Uh...” I could remember was what Simen said in the morning, how Levi was selfish and childish, etcetera, etcetera, but I honestly didn’t want to tell Levi that.
But Levi seemed to know what I had heard, for she said, “I thought so; Kane and Simen were never ones to hold back. But what they said is probably true anyway – I am quite selfish, you know. I just can’t help it.” She shrugged her shoulder at this fact while I could only stare. “Anyway, I need to lay down some things about me ‘cause you’re going to be hanging around me a while. Number one: on any mission, we do it my way or we fail. Number two: I do things a bit differently, but don’t question my judgment because my way will always work. Number three: I expect everything is a trap unless proven otherwise. And lastly: I’m the number one Agent for these reasons, no matter how ridiculous it sounds. Got it?”
I couldn’t help but think I’d never get any of these rules because of how ridiculous they sounded and the way Levi had said them so earnestly. But since I wanted to stay on my partner’s good side, I said, “Sure. But you really know everything about me then? Like where I come from and what I was doing and stuff?”
“It was reported you were catching dangerous pirates who were a threat to the average Neopian,” Levi recalled. “You were catching them, alone, interestingly enough, for the Defenders of Neopia and UDON found out about it since you caught some pirates we’d been looking for. Oh, and Neopets were also calling you Segyx the Pirate Hunter, am I right?”
“Er... udon?” I said, bewildered.
“Undercover Defenders of Neopia,” said Levi in a whisper, taking a quick look around to see if anyone was listening, “or UDON for short. I use it in public as a code word. I use a lot of food from Shenkuu as a code words, got it? Man, you’re really going have to learn a lot, aren’t ‘cha?”
“But you’re right about the report, though,” I said, keen on getting back on topic.
“How could I not be? I read your file,” said Levi, amused.
“So the plan?” I reminded her gently.
“Right, the plan,” she said, her expression suddenly dead serious. “Okay, this is what we’re going to do, listen carefully....”
To be continued...