Janet and Jane: The Case of the Framed Detectives: Part Eight
"So, could you explain to me why we're going to the Hidden Tower?" Kell asked.
I groaned. "Everyone still thinks that Jane, Natia, and I are thieves," I answered. "I'm going to talk to Queen Fyora to clear our names. I'm a little surprised she didn't do anything already."
"How do you know she's going to do something?" Corbin asked.
I just had about enough of the questions. "We have worked for her before."
I stomped away from the monster hunters. I wished Jane was with me. Everyone had to go in three groups to go to the Hidden Tower to prevent suspicion (as if a few Neopets walking around in the dark wasn't suspicious enough). I was stuck with Kell and Corbin. Corbin, I didn't mind, but Kell... You probably can tell how happy I was with him from what happened earlier.
The three of us came across where the Hidden Tower was. I walked around the invisible tower to look for the entrance. Once I found it, I didn't hesitate to go inside. When Kell and Corbin came in, they began to walk upstairs. I told them not to go upstairs.
"Why can't we go upstairs?" Corbin asked. "Isn't that where Queen Fyora is?"
"It's one in the morning. She's restocking at the moment," I answered. I began to walk down the stairs to the storage room.
"Doesn't she ever sleep? Why would she stock in the middle of the night?" Kell asked.
His brother and he were always the questionable type. That was fine and all, Jane and I were like that. The thing is, though, that all those questions could really get on your nerves. Now I knew how those many Neopets Jane and I interrogated felt like.
I almost hopped down the stairs into the basement. Ah, memories were made in this very basement. Bad memories, but memories. The first thing I saw in the basement was Jane and Jonah looking around (Natia's and Jane's groups came before my group). Nice to see they got down here with no problem.
"Are you sure about this?" Corbin asked. "Can't this be considered trespassing? If we get caught, they might think we were trying to steal something."
I didn't really think of that. I said, "Don't worry. Everything's under control."
"I bet that was what you were thinking when you told Mason you knew he was the thief," Kell muttered.
I just had about enough of him. I decided to leave the brothers and look for Queen Fyora on my own. The Hidden Tower was one of the safest places in Neopia. Along with being invisible, Fyora kept the tower under careful watch. Looking around on my own wasn't a very dangerous task.
Somehow, I wound up in an area that I wasn't familiar with. It was pretty dark and in a corner. I was getting nervous, but I didn't know why. There wasn't any danger in here. Before I left the corner, I saw a door in the corner. There was a purple glow coming from behind the door. Maybe that was Queen Fyora.
After some thinking, I decided to check the room out. I slowly opened the door. The door creaked as I slipped into the room. The room was full of shelves that were jammed with all sorts of tomes. Queen Fyora wasn't in there, though. However, the orb that was usually on her staff was sitting on the ground. I never saw it glow that bright before.
I walked up to the orb and picked it up. It was a little hard to look at directly when it was close. Inside it was what appeared to be a thick cloud. I never saw clouds in the orb before. It was like it was trying to hide something from me.
"Just what do you think you are doing?"
I jumped up about two feet into the air, I was so startled. The voice was familiar to me, but it wasn't any of my friends. I really didn't want to hear that voice ever again.
I looked up from the orb. I saw an air Faerie looming over me. She was smiling that creepy smile at me, which was very unsettling. She was glad to see me. I wasn't glad to see her.
I needed to get away from Sheree.
The second I gained my wits back, I ran out of that room and slammed the door shut. Sheree was banging on the door while shouting, "Give me that orb!" I quickly locked the door and ran away from that room.
"Jane! Natia!" I cried. "Jane!"
While I was running, I ran into Nathan. Maybe I should have watched where I was going. When I ran into the Poogle, I let go of the orb. At this point, almost all of the Neopets helping us out came to see me.
"Catch it! Catch it!" I shouted.
Lyanka caught the orb before it hit the ground. I got off of the ground and took the orb back.
"What's wrong?" Lyanka asked.
"You're acting funny," Natia added.
"Natia," I said, almost out of breath. "Y-you don't understand."
"Calm down," Mae said. "Take deep breaths."
I took a couple deep breaths, then said, "I just ran into Sheree."
Natia and Jane went pale in a matter of seconds when I said that. They were about the same hue as me.
"Sheree? What is she doing here?" Jane choked out.
"And who is she?" Xavier asked.
"I don't know why she's here, but she wants this," I said, holding out the orb. "I locked her in a room, but that isn't going to hold her for long. Could you guys please distract her while I find Queen Fyora? She'll help us out."
"Are you so sure about that?" Corbin asked.
"I don't think she's going to hurt you guys. I have what she's after."
A huge crash came from the corner I came from, being followed by Sheree screaming, "Give me that orb, Janet!" Everyone winced at the sound of that.
"Please!" I begged.
Jane sighed and said, "Go ahead. We'll figure something out."
I ran away from the group and out of the basement. It was clear Queen Fyora wasn't in the basement, so she might have been somewhere else in the tower. I was going to have to run through all of the Hidden Tower (as if I wasn't tired enough, going nearly eighteen hours of sleep and running around for the last four).
Let me tell you, running all the way up the Hidden Tower when I felt like I was going to pass out was not fun. Going through every single room I came across didn't help. Queen Fyora was not in any of them. I was thinking she was in her shop, but I still wanted to be sure that she wasn't in another room.
I just got finished looking in a room and I shut the door. Before I ran up another flight of stairs, someone grabbed my wrist. I instantly yelped, since I thought it was Sheree. My reaction was to push whoever it was away, but that didn't work out so well.
"Janet, what on Neopia is going on?"
Again, Kell was around at the absolute worst possible time. I snatched my wrist back from him and looked at him unhappily.
"I don't have time to explain," I informed. I tried to run to the next flight of stairs again, but Kell grabbed my wrist again.
"You're not moving from this spot until I get an explanation."
"I'm serious!" I was getting more and more desperate. I tried to take my wrist back, but the Wocky still held on. "If you want me to explain, we need to do it as we move."
He rolled his eyes, but he let me go. "Fine."
"Thank you." I began to run back to the stairs, but Kell grabbed my wrist once more. "Hey, you said-"
"No running. I know you're just going to run away from me because I know you don't want to explain."
"No," I said boldly. "I'm not running from you. I'm running from Sheree."
I sighed. "Let's get going, Kell, and I'll explain everything to you."
With that, I walked to the next flight of stairs. Kell followed me. It was quiet for a while. It was like this until we reached the top of the flight and I checked all the doors in this little area.
"Alright, now you explain what's going on," Kell ordered. "Who's Sheree? Why are you afraid of her? What's with that orb you have?"
I sighed. I knew this was coming. "Alright. First, let me ask you something. Does the name Sheree ring a bell? Did you ever hear about someone named Sheree in the Neopian Times?"
"Well, I remember some article about the Fountain Faerie disappearing because of a Sheree." Kell looked at me. A confused look was all over his face. "Wait, that couldn't be-"
"The exact same Sheree, yes." I looked out a window. We were getting very high. I never really liked heights (no, I am not afraid of heights). "Jane, Natia, and I found her out and she didn't take it very well."
"You solved that case?"
"I'm not looking a lot like a bad detective right now, am I?" I smiled to myself. I would cross my arms if I wasn't holding this orb. "We weren't mentioned in the article, but that doesn't mean we didn't figure it out."
"Still, why are you freaking out over one Neopet?" Kell asked. I shook my head. "What? What is it?"
"Sheree isn't a Neopet."
He tilted his head when I said that. I could see he was beginning to get concerned. Finally, he choked out, "Then what is Sheree?"
"Sheree is a Faerie. A corrupted, grudge-holding, evil air Faerie who is after me and this orb." I held out the orb.
"Why is she after that?" Kell asked.
"Don't ask me. All I know is that it's usually on Fyora's staff, which is usually in her possession. You can ask Fyora-"
"Janet! Give me that orb!"
My hair stood on end. She was coming after us!
"Oh no, she's coming!" I said softly. I didn't want her to hear me. "Kell, I can't explain anymore until Sheree is taken care of."
I began to run up the steps. I didn't care if Kell didn't follow. Sheree didn't have anything against him. She wouldn't hurt him (I sure hoped not, at least). I did know she was going to hurt me, though.
A wave of relief rushed over me when I reached the top of the tower (how long did it take for me to get up here? An hour?). Queen Fyora must have been in here. I checked almost every other room in the entire tower. If she wasn't in here, I wouldn't know what to do.
I tried to open the door. Locked. Of course it was locked. Whenever someone was chasing me, there was never an easy way out. What was I supposed to do?
"The door's locked, isn't it?" Kell asked from behind me.
For the first time, I was glad that yellow Wocky was around. He could possibly help me out. I turned to him and said, "Yes. It's locked. What do we do?"
Kell looked at our feet. I looked down, too. There was a place mat right at the door. Could there possibly be a key under there? I handed Kell the orb and looked under the mat. There was a key under it. I picked up the key and put it in the lock. I couldn't believe it, but it fit.
"Everyone needs to do a better job at hiding keys," I muttered to myself as I unlocked the door.
Kell and I didn't hesitate to enter the shop. I shut and locked the door once we were inside. That might keep Sheree out, but I wasn't sure. It would at least buy us some time.
"Fyora!" I called. I looked away from the door and at the shop. Nobody was in here except for Kell and I. "Fyora? I thought she would be in here."
"Did you check the other rooms?" Kell asked. The Wocky began to look around.
"What do you think I was doing while I was walking up here?" I looked around as well. I don't know why, but I checked under a table that was holding some books that were for sale. After I got past the tablecloth, I saw something was under it. I grabbed it and took it out from under the table to get a better look. It appeared to be Queen Fyora's staff without the orb. "Kell, why was Fyora's staff under a table?"
"What?" He looked over at me. "I thought Queen Fyora would have it."
"So did I." I held the staff up. "Where could she be?"
"Uhh... I think I know where."
I turned to Kell. "Where?"
Alright? That was rather strange. Still, I decided to walk over to Kell and see what he meant. Once I was up to him, he just tapped on the orb (which made a tinking sound like glass). Did he want me to look at it? Why? What is there to look at? No harm in looking, though. The clouds that were in there were gone. I could clearly see into it. What I saw inside it, though...
Inside the orb was Queen Fyora.
"What? How?" I asked. "How can Fyora be in there?"
"I have no clue," Kell answered. "She's the queen, the strongest Faerie around. Something like this shouldn't happen."
"Well it clearly did." I kneeled down to get a better look inside. Fyora was looking at me and knocking on the glass. It looked like she was speaking, but I couldn't hear her. "I think she wants to get out."
"Well, if you were trapped in an orb, wouldn't you want to get out?"
I ignored that statement and said, "How do we get her out?"
"You don't get her out."
Shivers were sent down my spine. I looked back to see Sheree standing in the doorway. A smug smile was on her face. The door was open, which I didn't get. I didn't hear anything and I think I would hear her knocking a door open.
Yeah, we were in so much trouble.
I tried not to show any fear. Instead, I held Fyora's staff like it was a weapon (which didn't do me much good. It was pretty much useless without Fyora and the orb was in Kell's hands. It was taller than me, too, so holding it was a challenge). That wasn't going to intimidate her, though.
"Now will you give me that orb like the good Neopets you are, or-" Sheree began.
"If you think we're going to give it to you, you're even crazier than I thought you were," I snapped in response. Maybe snapping at a Faerie wasn't the best idea, but I couldn't help it.
"How did you even trap Queen Fyora in here?" Kell asked.
"That's a little secret that you won't know," Sheree answered calmly. She walked into the room. Kell and I took a step back. "Just give me that orb and all of this will come to an end."
"What makes you think we trust you?" I asked. "After what you did-"
"I was trying to make everything fair." Her voice was beginning to sound angry. That wasn't good. Far from it. "All those Neopets don't think for a second about quitting a quest for one of Naia's."
"How is that Naia's fault?" Kell asked.
The air Faerie grimaced and held out her hand. "I'm tired of being nice. Give me that orb or I'm going to take it from you!"
Air began to swirl around her hand. It wasn't long until an air ball formed. The breeze blew our hair around wildly. Kell and I backed up a little. Here we were, a corrupted air Faerie was about to attack us and the only things we had to defend ourselves were an orb that had the Faerie queen in it and a useless staff that was twice my height. The odds were certainly against us.
How were we going to get out of this one?
Some sense finally hit me and I decided to act. I began to dash away. I knew Sheree would attack if I did that. Once she did, I swung the staff I had at the air sphere and it disappeared, leaving behind a gale of wind. Sheree tried to tackle me, but I (barely) dodged her attack. Shortly after that, I swung the staff and hit her.
Maybe that wasn't the best idea. Sheree hit me with an air sphere that sent me across the room. I didn't hit a wall and the sphere didn't really hurt, but it did mess with my concentration. On the bright side, I was a good distance away from her.
"Janet! Catch!" Kell shouted.
He threw the orb at me. I caught it before it hit the floor. Once his hands were empty, the Wocky charged at Sheree and tackled her. I held the staff and the orb so I didn't look or feel awkward and thought about what to do. I was holding Fyora's staff and the orb that went with it (well, I didn't need to hold the staff, but I needed some sort of weapon and the Hidden Tower was out of stock).
Sheree managed to get away from Kell and went back to me. The Faerie ran up to me. I tried to swing the staff at her, but she grabbed it with one hand. I tried pulling it back, but I bet you could guess how that worked out. The other hand had another air sphere in it. What was I supposed to do after that? My mind was a total blank.
Kell then quickly pushed me out of the way (it was more of a tackle, but you get the idea). The second after both of us were out of the way, that air sphere hit the wall and did quite a bit of damage. When we hit the ground, I realized that I didn't have the orb or the staff. I must have let go of them when Kell pushed me! I didn't know where they went!
Until I heard the unmistakable sound of glass shattering.
Kell, Sheree, and I all turned to where that sound came from. All we saw was Fyora's staff on the ground with a pile of purple glass shards under it. If that was the orb, then... Uh oh. What would happen if it broke? Would Fyora be gone?
Some purple streams of smoke came from the glass shards. Wait, purple streams of smoke came from the glass shards? How? What was going on? The streams of smoke rushed to all of us. They circled around us and we began to float (I'm not even joking. We really did float). I was used to floating around, since Mae had the tendency to make the closest thing to her float, I just stayed calm. Kell and Sheree, however... I'll just say that it was pretty entertaining to watch them react.
Suddenly, there was a bright flash of light. It only lasted for about a fraction of a second, but it was blinding. I had to cover my eyes so it wouldn't do any damage to them. When the flash was done and over with, I uncovered my eyes. The smoke stuff was gone. Shortly after I realized this, Kell and I fell to the floor and landed with a thud.
"Ugh, that wasn't fun," Kell groaned.
"You get used to it," I replied. I got up and rubbed my back. I was sort of expecting that, so I could have landed on my feet instead of there. I looked around for Sheree, but she wasn't around. I did, however, spot another Faerie. She was getting off the ground and she stretched. "Fyora!" I ran over to her as fast as I could. Once Kell regained his senses, he ran up to her as well. "Fyora, what on Neopia happened? I thought Sheree was contained."
"Well, she was," Fyora said. She sounded tired. I knew Kell and I exhausted, almost to the point of passing out (hey, you would be tired after the day we had), but why would she be tired? "It's been a long week. Believe me, Janet."
"It was for me, too."
"Hold on," Kell said to me. "You were telling the truth about knowing Queen Fyora?"
"Well, of course I was," I replied. "Why would I ever lie about that sort of thing?"
"It just seemed too farfetched to me."
"Well, not so farfetched now, now is it?"
The Wocky unhappily grimaced at me. "If some Neopet just told you that they worked for Queen Fyora, would you believe them?"
"You two don't get along well, don't you?" Fyora asked.
Kell and I shook our heads. I said to the Faerie, "Not very well. So tell me. How on Neopia did something like this happen?"
Fyora turned away and looked out the window. I could tell she was reluctant to share. Why would she be? Was she... embarrassed? No, she couldn't be. What was I thinking? Why on Neopia would she be embarrassed?
"One of Sheree's followers, what's his name..." Fyora said. She began to snap her fingers, like she was trying to remember something.
"Mason?" I asked.
"Yes, that's his name. Do you know him?"
I didn't really want to answer, but I did so anyway. "You could say that."
"Well, he helped her escape and..." Fyora rubbed her head. "I'm sorry, but I can't remember much else." She faced us. "So what are you doing here?"
"Mason was blaming Jane, Natia for things we didn't do," I explained. "We caught him, but we're still wanted. We came here to ask for your help and proving this to be a huge misunderstanding."
"Speaking of them, where are they?" Kell asked me.
"Probably somewhere in the tower looking for us. I'll go find them."
I left the shop and went down the (many) stairs. Boy, was I going to have a hard time explaining what happened to us.