Janet and Jane: The Case of the Framed Detectives: Part One
It had been an entire month since J2 last received a job. It was getting boring. Then one day, a new mystery had popped up. J2 was immediately on the case. This one was serious and was going to be the hardest one that the company had received in a while.
The worst part was that I had to do it all without my best friend.
In fact, the entire case revolved around her. It wasn't even a real case - it was just me trying to find her. Jane went missing about four days ago. She never told me if she was going anywhere. Just one day, she didn't show up to work. It was as if she disappeared. I checked her house to see if she just slept in (she gave me a key) and she wasn't there, either.
I decided to check in the Deserted Fairgrounds. Natia, Jane, and I were there the night before she disappeared (which, now that I think about it, probably wasn't the best place to check out when we were bored). It was late at night and we left at different times to go home. Jane was the last one to leave. I knew I should have gone home with her. "Go home and get rest," she said. "I'll be fine," she said. Why did I let her talk me into that idea?
Right now, I was interviewing some of the workers that might have seen her. I talked to Arnold at the Test Your Strength game (which is rigged, I tell you), Leeroy at the Coconut Shy (that is also rigged), and Harker at Bagatelle (you know what I was going to say about it). Now I was asking Sidney. I would say it was going well.
"For the third time, could you please just tell me if you saw her?" I asked in an annoyed tone.
Well, as well as it could go without Jane. She was always better at asking Neopets about certain things than I was. I had a small tendency to be a little rude.
"Could you tell me when I should have sssseen her?" Sidney asked.
I groaned. This would be the third time I told him. How could he not remember something I just asked him? "She went missing about four days ago, so anytime between then and now would help. Shadow Korbat. My height. Probably with a black Alabriss she calls Alize."
"I don't remember ssseeing anyone who looksss like that."
Finally, a real answer. "Alright, thank you for that. Do you remember seeing anything strange over the last few days."
"What isss with all of thesssse quessstionssss, anyway?" The Nimmo stood up from his seat in front of the scratchcard kiosk. "Are you accussssing me of ssssomething?"
I stepped closer to him out of a little anger. "I am not accussssing you. I am assssking you!"
"Now are you mocking me?"
I rolled my eyes. "Whatever. I'm out."
I walked away from the kiosk. As I left, I heard Sidney shout, "Don't think about coming back here any time ssssoon!"
I turned back and shouted, "I wasn't planning on it!" After that, I went back to walking away. That didn't go well at all. He didn't see Jane around here recently. Nobody saw Jane around here recently. I knew she was here a few days ago. Maybe she wasn't here anymore.
"Hey Kacheek!" I heard the Aisha at the Cork Gun Gallery call. I looked around. I was the only Kacheek around - in fact, I was the only one around. "Kacheek! Wanna play a game at the Cork Gun Gallery?"
I shrugged. "I guess," I replied as I walked up to the game. I placed 100 Neopoints onto the counter. She handed me a cork gun.
"You're the first customer I've had in a while. Many Neopets have gone off to the Haunted Shootery."
The blue Aisha was a talkative one, I could tell. I really wasn't in the mood for talking. Instead of replying, I aimed and shot at one of the prizes. The cork went out at a random directioin and hit the wall of the opposite side of the gallery I was aiming at.
"Aw, you missed," the Aisha said sadly. She went to get the cork and reloaded my cork gun. "Hey, you seemed a little worried. What's on your mind?"
"Heh, I'll tell you if I knock an item down," I said, sounding a little rude. I didn't think I was going to knock one down. I took aim at a Raspberry Achyfi and fired. The cork knocked the can of Achyfi down. The Aisha looked at me.
"Start talking," she said when she gave me the Achyfi that I just won and reloaded the cork gun.
I sighed. There was no way of getting out of this now. I opened my drink and took a sip. "My friend went missing here a few days ago," I said sadly.
"Aw, sorry to hear," the Aisha said sadly. "You're looking for her?"
I nodded. "I am. Have you seen her?"
"Well I would need to know what she looks like, first."
"Oh, of course." I took another sip of my drink. "Her name's Jane. She's a shadow Korbat, about my height, and probably with a black Alabriss named Alize."
The Aisha tilted her head. "Actually, I remember seeing her."
My eyes lit up. This was excellent news. "Really?" I asked enthusiastically, hoping she wasn't joking.
"I did. Nice Neopet, too." The Aisha handed me the cork gun, probably wanting me to take another shot. "Janet, right?"
I took the cork gun and laid down another 100 Neopoints down. "That's my name. Did she talk about me?"
"You and Natia, who I assume is a friend of yours." The Aisha smiled at me. "My name's Lyanka."
"She is, and nice to meet you, Lyanka," I said kindly. She was pretty nice. I fired at some Kiwi Pear Gummies and missed. It didn't faze me. "It's nice to meet someone who saw her a few days ago. I just asked Sidney at the scratchcards and that didn't go well."
"Yeah, I heard." Lyanka made a face. "He isn't the nicest one around here."
I put down another 100 Neopoints and fired at a random treat. It knocked down. Lyanka handed the prize to me. It was a box of Fruit-N-Fudge Crisps. Hey, I actually liked this stuff. I was a little hungry, so I opened it up and ate a couple. I offered a crisp to Lyanka, to which she accepted.
"Thank you," the Aisha said. She bit on the crisp and ate the bite. "Are you sure she went missing a few days ago?"
I nodded. "Four to be exact. Why do you ask?"
"Well I saw her here last night."
I nearly choked on the crisp that I put in my mouth before she answered. "What?!" I asked in shock.
"I'm serious. I saw her here last night. She was running off in some random direction and she dropped a couple of stuff in front of the gallery." Lyanka ducked behind the counter and popped up a few seconds later with things in her hand. "Is this her's, by any chance?"
What she picked up was Jane's bag. I stared at them for a few seconds before saying, "That's definitely her's." I grabbed Jane's bag and pulled it towards me. It was heavier than it usually was. I opened it up to see a ton of Neopoints in there. I stared at it with eyes as big as each of those coins."Those Neopoints, however, are not her's."
"Then why are they in there?"
"I wish I knew." I managed to pick up the bag. It was heavier than it looked. "If you find anything else, let me know, okay?"
"But how am I supposed to let you know?" Lyanka asked.
I thought about that for a bit. That was a good question. After a little bit of thinking, I took out a piece of paper from my notepad and a pencil. I wrote a set of directions (the directions to get to J2's headquarters, to be exact) and handed it to her. "Come here if something comes up."
The blue Aisha nodded. "Alright. Good luck finding her."
I began to walk away, but not without saying, "Thanks."
I woke up early and got ready as fast as I could. Today was going to be a good day. I was going to tell Natia that I met someone who saw Jane, which was pretty big. I didn't tell her this last night since I didn't see her. I would have told her if I did, though.
Natia wasn't really a detective, but she really wanted to be one. She often helped Jane and I on a case (even when we didn't want her to). We met her during a case involving the Aisha Thieves, and she was set up to take the blame (though she never stole anything, she was still technically a thief). The alien Aisha was pretty mischievous, very curious, and not all that smart (never a good combination), but she tended to go to the extreme when she wanted to help. It was a good thing that she was on our side.
I walked into headquarters (which was just a revamped clubhouse from when Jane and I were little) and looked for Natia. She was usually here before me. Let me think. Natia was usually in the examination room, which was where we took a good look at clues and just talked about the job at hand. This was what I was hoping, since I had Jane's hat and bag with me.
I came into the examination room. Natia was in there along with a friend of ours named Nathan. Nathan was a speckled Poogle who worked for the Neopian Times. He usually reported on cases that J2 had. This was because we preferred not to let our company known to the public. We would lose our ability of being able to sneak around in plain view. You get it? Anyway, Nathan usually came over either when he wanted an interview or a crime came up. Since we didn't have a real case in about a month, I assumed it was the second reason.
"Hello guys!" I said in a cheery voice.
Natia looked at me. There was a frown on her face and her four ears that stuck out of her head were drooping down (which was a rare sight). It looked like some sort of terrible news was given to her. She said in a voice that was as sad as her appearance, "Hey Janet. Find anything?"
"I did, actually. Did you?"
"You could say that," Nathan said in a worried voice. "You won't like it, though."
My bright smile turned into a frown. "Why? What is it?"
"Why don't you tell us what you found first?" Natia asked. "It might be better to get yours out of the way first."
"Alright..." I said in an unsure voice. I held up Jane's hat and bag. "I have Jane's bag! There might be some sort of clue with it. That and someone saw Jane a couple days ago! Now what's your finding?"
Nathan sighed, "Did you see today's issue of the Neopian Times?"
I shook my head. "Nope. Why?"
He pushed a copy of the Times at me while avoiding eye contact. I read over the page it was open to, since I assumed that the page was what he wanted me to read. A story was circled in black marker. I looked up at Natia and Nathan, who stared at me. Alright, I guess they wanted me to read the story.
I didn't even need to read the entire story. I just read the first paragraph to get the point. I couldn't even go past the first paragraph if I wanted to. The story shocked me terribly.
Here was what it said, "Last Thursday morning, the National Neopian Bank had been robbed. Thousands of Neopoints have been stolen. Witnesses have reported the robber to be a shadow Korbat who some have recognized by the name of Jane. Her whereabouts are unknown, but she remains at large."
To be continued…