The Shade Files - Halloween Nightmare: Part Two
Only a few hours remained before the young Neopians headed out to trick or treat. Around five-thirty in the afternoon, I left my Neohome, located on Chia Close, and headed to the DoN Headquarters. After all, it was one of a few places that could accommodate a large number of Neopians. On my way there, I met up with the Bookworm Detectives and the LPD, both dressed in their Halloween costumes.
We walked a couple hundred of metres inside the hallway after arriving at the DoN before I heard someone call out my name, and that person did not seem too happy, judging by the sound and tone of his voice. Immediately, I knew that it was my boss, but I still turned around to face him, wondering what he wanted with me. After coming up to me, he demanded why I was not working with the ‘low-life scum’ LPD. I guess the LPD was furious at the insult as Solar Flare, dressed as the Meridell hero, Jeran, immediately went over to him and told him that I was on duty before threatening to take him to Judge Hog if he insulted them again. After silencing my boss with the threat, we continued on our way to one of the boardrooms.
We did not have to wait that long before the other detective groups, some also dressed up for the occasion, arrived. The majority of them wore confused looks on their faces when they saw me. Blizzard, dressed up as Shenkunese princess, went up to the front of the room to address them after they took a seat.
“Before we begin choosing which area that we’re patrolling tonight, I am going to turn the floor over first to DoN Agent Shade Winters, who is going to be helping us with the patrol as well. Shade, please tell them the situation,” she said. I nodded and went up to the podium. I was not used to being in the spotlight, so I was nervous, but I did not show it to the crowd.
“Yesterday, the LPD requested my help with their case due to mysterious circumstances. So far, we have been able to determine that our kidnapper is illegally using magic, specifically portals, to kidnap Baby Neopians. We don’t know what the kidnapper’s motive is yet, but I want you guys to keep a vigilant eye out during your patrols for any signs of suspicious activity, especially with any Skunk Kyriis within the vicinity. Now, are there any questions before I turn the floor back over to Blizzard?” I told them. A Red Zafara, dressed as the Zafara Rogue, stood up to address me.
“This is a joke, right? I mean, have you even considered that it just might be Old Lady Doppel at work? After all, she does go after misbehaving children and it is rumoured that she’s the most active on this day,” he said. I had no answer to that particular question, but Blizzard saved me with hers after gently pushing me to one side.
“Cinnamon, that’s just a story that parents tell in order to scare their children and get them to behave. Besides, most of us detectives believe in logic and evidence for solving a case, not ridiculous ideas and conspiracy theories, unlike your team, who happens to believe in just that. Maybe that’s why you don’t get a lot of potential customers because you scare them away with your stories,” she shot back. I could see various detectives trying their best to cover up their snickers and laughs, along with Cinnamon being slightly embarrassed.
Seeing as there were no other questions, Blizzard then proceeded with the main task, which was to divide the city up into sections for us to patrol. As expected, it took us a while to choose, but in the end, everyone was happy with their choice. Initially, I was not sure who I would team up with, but in the end, I decided that I would team up with Aura, who was dressed up as an archaeologist and Shadow Breeze, a Faerie Xweetok who was dressed up as one of the villains from the NeoQuest II game, Ramtor, a Blue Bruce with a moon shaped staff.*****
Seeing the Neopets scampering around Rainbow Lane was quite an experience for me as this was my first time helping out with the patrol. Of course, I was still on alert just in case something did happen. I was not going to let my guard down as I was afraid of not only incurring the wrath of my boss, but possibly from the other detectives.
It was probably around ten-thirty when we heard the screams coming from our street. Judging by the sound of it, we were near it, so we ran off to the location. I had a suspicious feeling that our kidnapper had struck again. On the way there, I pulled out my notebook and was madly scribbling down a note in it. For some odd reason, after that scream, it was eerily quiet, something that I did not like one bit.
My suspicion was confirmed when we came across a portal in the middle of the road. I assumed that our kidnapped was in a rush and had somehow forgot to close it. Before we went in, Shadow Breeze quickly shot off a firework with his staff to let the other detectives know our location, while I ripped out the note and pinned it to a nearby tree with a bit of masking tape. As soon as that was completed, we entered the portal, one by one, hoping for the best.
We came out of the portal relatively unscathed, but we had no idea where we were after we landed. As soon as we were out, Shadow Breeze closed the portal just to be on the safe side. It seemed like we were in the Lost City of Geraptiku or some sort of Lost Desert tomb, but we were not that certain. We needed something that would tell us where we were. Shadow Breeze confirmed that were in an Geraptiku tomb when he took his staff and used it as a torch as he slowly waved it at one the walls, revealing strange letters, possibly hieroglyphs, but he probably knew what the letters were, to an extent, as he was the decoder with the Bookworms.
“Aura, do you have a weapon with you?” I quietly asked so that our position was not given away. She silently nodded as she showed me her Scarab Stone Slingshot. I thought it may not be enough, so I tossed to her one of my Exceptionally Tiny Laser Cannons just in case she needed a backup weapon. I did not ask Shadow Breeze because I knew that he was more than capable of taking out enemies with his homemade staff, and he knew a lot of useful spells from Ramtor’s Spellbook, particularly battle spells.
Shadow Breeze led the way, using his staff as a light source even though there were torches lining the wall. Both Aura and I had Space Fungus Spores, but we felt that holding it would slow us down significantly if we held it in one of our hands, especially for Aura and her rumoured lightning slingshot draw, as we needed to be quick just in case we were attacked.
After hitting several dead ends, we came across a fork. However, before we could choose which path to take, we heard something coming from the left path. Immediately, Shadow Breeze snuffed out his light and we moved back to one of the torches lining the wall. Then we waited for whoever was coming towards us, our weapons ready. It seemed like an eternity, but we saw a floating flame appearing before seeing the face, scaring us in the process. We sighed in relief after seeing that it was Nimbus, a Cloud Shoyru, who, like me, was dressed as a detective. Like us, he was relieved when he saw us after he doused his Magic Torch.
“Let me guess, Aura, you were also following the kidnappers, right?” We nodded even though he directed the question towards Aura. Just to be on the safe side, Aura asked him a couple of tough question. However, I knew why she did that, which was to determine whether or not the Shoyru in front of us was indeed Nimbus. After all, he was the only one who would know the answers. Of course, he answered both of the questions correctly, so we knew that he was the real deal. I was still a little bit wary of him, so I asked him what he was doing here in the tomb.
“I was following two Skunk Kyriis who had managed to kidnap quite a few baby Neopets, but I lost track of them after entering the portal and finding myself here. However, I think I may have found something important that I think you should take a look at,” he replied. Aura told him to lead the way.
I thought that we were lost on the way to wherever Nimbus was taking us, but it took me a few seconds to realize that he marked the walls with a piece of charcoal when he occasionally stopped and looked around for something. I don’t know how long we were following him, but eventually, he led us to a chamber of some sort. It was filled with empty cells, leading me to suspect that it was a dungeon.
“I’m not sure what they had contained or if it’s related to your case at all. If it isn’t, I do apologize for leading you on a wild Mallard chase,” he told us after we entered the chamber. Using the front end his staff as an improvised crowbar, Shadow Breeze opened one of the cell and quickly searched it before pulling something out. As soon as the object, a pacifier, was handed to Aura, she took a quick sniff before passing it to me. After putting it in a clear bag and sealing it, I safely tucked it away in one of my pockets.
“Hmm, I couldn’t tell what species that pacifier came from because it was far too faint for me to detect, but I do know that that pacifier has been in that cell for at least a couple of weeks. I’m guessing that our kidnappers used this chamber, or whatever this is, as a temporary storage room to hold the kidnapped babies until he or she could find the right place for them,” Aura informed us.
“This means that we were on the right track. Hmm, our kidnapper must have known about it, so essentially, he or she used the maze like hallways of this tomb to their advantage while we were chasing them, knowing that we would get lost,” I said as I wrote the information down in my notepad.
Just as we were about to head out and continue on our way, a small group of Skunk Kyriis entered the cavern, blocking our only exit. They quickly drew their weapons when they saw us, which happened to be copies of Ylana’s Blaster, and began firing at us. We scrambled in different directions to avoid being hit.
Shadow Breeze shouted to us to return fire as we scurried off in different directions, avoiding the various laser fires. As soon as I was safely behind a crate, I activated my weapon. Once it was ready, I went out and blindly fired away, remembering to hide every once in a while to avoid being hit. We may have been badly outnumbered by them, but we were not going down without a fight.
It took us a while, but we knew it was over when Shadow Breeze snuck up on the last Skunk Kyrii and knocked him out with his staff. Then he bound them together with a spell.
“Right, we need to deliver these guys to either the DoN or to your siblings for interrogation as soon as possible, Aura. It will take us days just to get out of here and to Neopia Central, but I do know the portal spell. I’m not going to put us inside the Neohome because it is illegal to do something like that, but I can put us outside. All we need is a consensus,” Shadow Breeze told us. We all agreed to take the criminals to Aura’s Neohome for questioning. After we reached it, Shadow Breeze chanted something to open up a portal. We entered it, knowing that Shadow Breeze was behind us.
We exited the portal and found Blizzard, still dressed in her Halloween costume, pacing back and forth on the front lawn, looking like she was deep in thought. She looked up when the portal closed, relieved to see us.
“Oh, thank Fyora you guys are back because right now, we’re in a really awkward situation,” she told us, worry crossing her face. We looked at each other because we knew that the situation was not good at all.
To be continued…