Chronicles of a Caped Crusader: Morphica Begins - Part Two
Elsewhere in Neopia...
“So, Veronica, do we have all of the Defenders now?”
“Yes, sir, the hired villains did a good job luring them away. The Defenders never saw it coming. Only Lightning Lenny and Judge Hog remain,” a female voice replied.
The mutant Acara watched from the shadows as her superior surveyed the captured agents through the monitor. Her lips curled into a wicked smile, everything proceeding exactly as planned.
“Now all the pieces are in place. Soon we will avenge our fallen comrade. Just a little more time, Veronica, and Judge Hog and the Defenders of Neopia will be no more.”
“So, Chloe, you don’t look like the kind of girl who only throws punches. What weapons do you specialize in?” Loraine asked.
“Currently, I’m working with cudgels, but that isn’t all I’m good at. I’m also very good with swords and bows and I can handle a blaster. I have also studied many forms of martial arts,” Chloe told.
“A regular battle-girl, huh? All right, so cudgels, we’ll need to find you a pair to use. You can’t use your civilian pair as Defender. This computer is linked to the storeroom’s database; we’ll find something that works for you,” Loraine told.
She walked over to the computer and typed in the item she wanted. A moment later the computer showed a list of weapons matching that description and their locations in the storeroom.
“All right, I like these,” Loraine said selecting a pair from the list. “Your belt has clips for them too. We’ll go pick them up in a minute. Time to create your file; I’ll do that myself. I just need you to stand back on the platform again so the computer can scan you for a full picture.”
Chloe stood on the platform and a beam of light shot up out of the platform. A moment later it stopped and Loraine said she was done.
“Come, Morphica. Let’s go pick up your weapons and get you a wrist communicator. I’m sure Judge Hog wanted you back upstairs five minutes ago. Lightning sent me a message telling me what’s going on. This is quite a start for a young girl like you, but I know that you’ll do fine. After all, you’ve been observing the agents for years now with your part-time work here. Yes, I do know about that; there isn’t much I don’t know,” Loraine said as they went down to the armory.
They went into the armory and Chloe looked around in glee at all the weapons.
“Wow, this is so... awesome! It’s like the Battlepedia come to life,” Chloe cried.
“Yes, we keep it well stocked so that we always have the proper fighting equipment for any evil-doer. I have found your weapons, Chloe.”
Chloe came over and Loraine put red metal bands on her upper arms and handed her two red cudgels. The cudgels were thinner than her normal weapons, but they were just as heavy.
“These are special Virtupets made cudgels. They are prototypes and not released to the public yet. The perks of having friends in certain places. Those bands are tracking beacons. You can throw your cudgels and they will return to you after they make contact. One more thing, here.” Loraine put a watch on her wrist. “This is your communicator; take good care of it. We need to get back up to the control room. Let’s go.”
Chloe and Loraine reentered the control room. Judge Hog and Lightning Lenny turned to look at them when they entered.
“Yikes, Chloe, you look like you could turn someone into jelly,” Lightning Lenny commented.
“Loraine does a good job then,” Chloe replied.
“What name did you choose?” Judge Hog asked.
“She’s Morphica,” Loraine replied.
“On to business, we need to check the last known locations of our agents for more clues. Mammoth, Super Lupe, and Dr. Flexo were on missions closest to here. Mammoth was in the Haunted Woods, Super Lupe in Kiko Lake, and Dr. Flexo in Meridell. Loraine, we need you to man the computer and monitor the situation from here. Morphica, I believe you are familiar with Meridell?” Judge Hog told.
“I should hope so; I live there half the year,” Chloe answered.
“You’ll go to Meridell then. Lightning, you’re the fastest; you go to the Haunted Woods. I’ll check out Kiko Lake. Check in with Loraine every three minutes starting from the time you arrive at your destination.”
Chloe looked down and saw Meridell below her. The cape gave Chloe a lot more speed when flying and so it was a much shorter trip than normal. Chloe landed in the busiest part of Meridell and made contact with Loraine.
“Loraine, I’m here. Where was Dr. Flexo’s last known location?” Chloe called over her communicator.
“Let’s see...” came Loraine’s voice over the communicator. “It seems his last location from his last check in put him by the Rubbish Dump. There was some kind of disturbance there and someone called for the Defenders to deal with it, but there aren’t any concrete details about what he was supposed to be dealing with.”
“Right, have Lightning Lenny or Judge Hog arrived at their destinations yet?”
“Judge Hog arrived and is investigating. Lightning has not checked in yet. However, calculating his top speed and the distance, he’ll be there in about three minutes,” Loraine said.
“Okay, I’ll check-in again in three minutes, or sooner if find something.”
Chloe flew towards the Rubbish Dump. The moment she landed, Loraine’s panicked voice shouted out from the communicator, “Morphica, are you still there? I’ve lost communication with Lightning Lenny! He tried to make some sort of distress call and seconds later he suddenly cut out. I tried to contact Judge Hog, but I’m getting some kind of interference.”
“I’m okay, Loraine, but this is bad. Someone is one step ahead of us. They expected this. Judge Hog is closest; maybe I can get there in time to help. Stay on the line and update me if anything happens,” Chloe responded as she took off.
Chloe flew as fast as she could towards Kiko Lake. It wasn’t that far, so she hoped that she might just make it. It hurt to fly that fast, but she couldn’t slow down. If she did she could be too late to help Judge Hog if he needed it. She could already see Kiko Lake.
“At his last check he said he was next to Kiko Lake Carpentry!” Loraine informed her.
Chloe slowed down and started dropping down towards the lake. She could see him. There were at least ten mutant Grundos fighting with him. They had managed to get some restraints on him, but Judge Hog was not going down without a fight. Chloe grabbed her cudgels off her belt and threw them at two of the Grundos who were holding the restraints. The cudgels knocked them both down and then they returned to her just like Loraine said they would.
She landed a few feet away and whistled loudly. “Hey, boys, whatcha doing?”
They turned to look and she threw the cudgels again, knocking down the other two holding the restraints. Judge Hog broke free and punched the nearest one so hard he went flying. Suddenly something struck Chloe across the back of the head, but she was unhurt as the wig took most of the shock. Chloe realized nothing in her costume was simply for decoration. She whirled around and threw a punch into the jaw of her opponent.
The mutant Acara staggered back and demanded, “Who are you?”
“Who are you?” Chloe turned the question back on her.
“You’re not one of the Defenders; where did you come from?”
“Morphica, look out behind you!” Judge Hog warned.
Chloe jumped into the air, spinning to bring a kick into the jaw of the Grundo who had been trying to sneak up on her. He dropped to the ground and she turned her attention back to the Acara.
“Who are you? What have you done with other Defenders? Where is Lightning Lenny? If you don’t answer, I’m going to give you the King, Queen, and Ace of all headaches,” Chloe threatened.
“Ha, you don’t scare me, little girl. Although, you do throw a hitch in our plans and they were going so well. Time to retreat, I suppose.” The Acara chuckled.
“No, you don’t!” Chloe shouted, diving at her.
Before Chloe could reach her, the Acara vanished in a puff of smoke. She turned back to Judge Hog.
“Do you know her?” Chloe asked hopefully.
“I’m afraid not. Did you say Lightning Lenny is missing?” Judge Hog replied.
“Yeah, boss. He contacted Loraine to say he was in some trouble and then his signal cut out. He must have been ambushed in the woods. I guess they were waiting for you and him. The Acara said ‘our plans’; she must have a partner in this.”
“Chloe, what’s going on, is everything all right? I still can’t get through to Judge Hog,” Loraine called.
“We’re good; we’ll fill you in in a minute,” Chloe replied. “Judge Hog, let me see if I can change your communicator’s frequency; something is blocking it.”
Judge Hog handed Chloe his communicator and she opened it up and adjusted a switch inside.
“I’ve got a signal! Sir, can you hear me?” Loraine’s voice came from the communicator.
Chloe closed it up and handed it to him. He put it on as he said, “Loud and clear, Loraine.”
“Oh, thank Fyora, I was so worried about what Morphica and I would do if you were captured too.” Loraine’s relieved voice came over the communicator.
“We’re coming back now. We’ll come up with a new plan of attack at HQ,” Judge Hog said. “Come on, Chloe; help me with these Grundos. Maybe one of them can give us a clue to finding out who hired them. It is a long shot, because if they knew too much, that Acara would never have left them behind. Still, you never know; I’ll take luck any day.”
“Ran into some trouble out there, Veronica?”
“Yes, sir, I’ll admit to being completely blindsided by this development. There hasn’t even been a rumor of a new agent,” Veronica replied.
“Morphica, eh?” he said as he reviewed the footage from the fight. “She’s not bad and she’s young; that is a good combination. Look at the height on that kick; those Grundos are tall. Is your jaw all right?”
“She punches like a girl,” Veronica muttered angrily.
“Girls should not throw that insult at each other; it is in bad taste, Veronica.” His voice was clearly amused.
“Oh, shut up! Now what do we do? Judge Hog is not going to be that vulnerable again. She ruined our plan. How are we supposed to take him now?” Veronica shouted.
“Calm down, Veronica. This is only a mild setback, all it does is it makes this thing a little more interesting. Nothing can stop us, Veronica. Just be patient, young one, and soon they will slip up and we will be there.”
To be continued...