Lupe Pack Detectives - The Kidnapped JubJub: Part One
It was approximately a quarter past one in the morning when Noel the Christmas JubJub woke up because of his growling stomach. He groaned and hopped out of bed, heading out of his room and downstairs to the kitchen to make himself a midnight snack. After he was finished his snack, he carefully put the items that he used away and headed back upstairs.
However, just as he entered his bedroom, he was suddenly ambushed by someone. Before he could even use his infamous screech, a dirty, old bandana was placed around his mouth, effectively gagging him. Then he was stuffed into a bag and was thrown out of the window before he was dragged away to places unknown.
Around seven thirty in the morning, his two brothers, Comet, a Starry Kacheek, and Thunder Wave, an Electric Scorchio, woke up. After they thoroughly cleaned themselves up, Comet knocked on Noel’s bedroom door.
“Noel, wake up. It’s time for our daily run,” he called out. There was no response from the bedroom.
“Noel, if you don’t wake up, then we will have to break your door down. We’re not going to fix it because it’s your fault for not waking up on time,” Thunder Wave shouted.
They waited a few more minutes before they decided to break the door open. It took them a couple of tries, but when they did, they found the bedroom empty. Both of them groaned.
“Noel, we don’t have time for your silly games. Now come out from where you are hiding,” Thunder Wave loudly said. Noel did not show up, so they were forced to search the bedroom. When they were finished searching, Comet noted the piece of paper on the window, so he went over to it and took it off. His face turned pale after he read it.
“Comet, what’s wrong?”Thunder Wave asked.
“He’s...he’s been kidnapped, Thunder Wave,” he said as he showed him the note.
“Then I guess we have to call in a detective agency. I hear that there’s a new one near our street opening in a couple of months, so it’s worth a shot even if they are not ready to solve a crime.” Comet nodded his head in agreement.
We were renovating a part of our Neohome when one of my brothers, Opren, a Striped Lupe, yelled to us from the rooftop that we had a mail carrier headed our way. I, Blizzard, a Blue Lupe, stopped what I was doing at the Neogarden and waited for the messenger, a female Royal Korbat, to land. She landed just beside me.
“I’m looking for the head of the Lupe Pack Detectives,” she said after she landed.
“That would be me, madam,” I replied. She opened her mail bag and handed me a letter, telling me that it was an important one. I thanked her, but I was left wondering why someone would be mailing us when we technically had not opened our office yet. After she left, I slit the envelope open with one of my claws and took the letter out, curious at what the letter said. After taking it out, I began reading it.
“Dear Lupe Pack Detectives
I know that you may be busy with your preparations for the opening of your office, but this is urgent because our youngest brother, Noel, a Christmas JubJub, is missing. My eldest brother, Thunder Wave, and I received a note saying not to go look for him, leading us to suspect that he has been kidnapped by someone. If you solve this case, then we will help you spread the word for your detective agency along with the reward money. Thank you for your time and I apologize in advance for disturbing you from your preparation work.
Comet the Starry Kacheek.”
After reading it, I called out to my siblings to put their tools away and get themselves ready to work in the field. As expected, they were confused after they packed up. My other brother, Solar Flare, a Fire Lupe, went up to me, telling me that we were not ready to open our office and solve some cases. I nodded as I showed him the letter.
“I know, Solar Flare, but our clients insist on using us. Apparently, if we solve the mystery of their kidnapped brother, they will help us spread the word of our office opening soon.”
Initially, both of my brothers were reluctant to go while my younger sister, Aura, a Starry Lupe, sided with me, so we were in a bit of a pinch because we needed a majority and we were in a deadlocked tie. Eventually, after a few seconds, Solar Flare sighed in resignation and switched his vote after seeing that neither Aura nor I would budge from our position, giving us the majority vote that we needed. After packing the necessary items needed for the investigation into our field kits, we set off for Comet and Thunder Wave’s Neohome which was located on 1008 Bracknell Road.
When we arrived, we found a Starry Kacheek and an Electric Scorchio sitting on the front steps of their Neohome. Just by looking at them, I knew that they were Comet and Thunder Wave, respectively. They stood up after we arrived and went up to us.
“Ah, that was fast. In case you don’t know by now, I’m Comet and the Electric Scorchio is my brother, Thunder Wave,” said the Starry Kacheek, holding out one of his hands. I shook his hand as I introduced myself and the rest of the team to them. Then we went to work.
While Opren began interviewing Thunder Wave on the basic details, such as what had happened and who the victim was, Solar Flare and Aura went off to perform their duties, leaving me with Comet. He gave me the note that they found on Noel’s bedroom window. I examined it carefully, hoping to find something useful, but I found no relevant information that could help us determine the whereabouts of Noel or who his kidnappers were.
A few minutes later, my sister came back into the Neohome from her investigation outside. I listened to her talk about what she had found as she was examining the outside.
“I found the drainpipe near Noel’s window slightly loose when I gently shook it, along with flattened grass marks nearby, which gives us the general route that the kidnapper took. I think we may be dealing with a Hissi, but I need some more concrete proof because anyone, except for water based Neopets such as a Peophin or Maraquan pets, would have been able to climb up the drainpipe to Noel’s bedroom and could have also dragged their feet on the grass to fool us into believing that we are pursuing a Hissi.”
“Aura, I think you may be right about the Hissi being the kidnapper because I found a couple of prints on the windows belonging to a Hissi. They are the only pets that have pointed fingertips because their hands act as wings if they need to fly. There’s also plenty of dried skin scattered throughout the bedroom. They were fresh, so I was able to identify the time that they were shed. I’d say that the kidnapping took place between midnight and two-o-clock in the morning based on the dried skin,” Solar Flare replied as he came down the stairs. I turned around and asked him what Noel was doing around the time he was kidnapped.
“I was hoping that you would be able to identify these for me, Blizzard, because I think that he was having a ‘midnight snack’, so to speak, before he was kidnapped,” he said as he handed me two sealed packets, one containing a small, brown sphere, the other a glob of red. I smiled when I looked over them because I knew what they were.
“Solar Flare, did you happen to smell peanut butter while you were in the bedroom?” He quickly nodded, but he did tell me that it was faint, confirming what I thought was Noel’s midnight snack: a peanut butter and jam sandwich.
With the information that we had so far, Aura was able to recreate Noel’s final moments before he was kidnapped. However, when we got to the actual kidnapping, we were stumped, so Solar Flare went back and searched the bedroom again. He came back a few minutes later with two more sealed packets, each of them holding a different piece of thread, as he told us that he found them under the bed. Something clicked in my mind after I saw them.
“Ah, I see, after the window was opened, our kidnapper managed to slip into the Noel’s bedroom and under the bed, waiting for him to come back from the kitchen. Let’s see, I know it’s not much, but I think that the brown thread is from a potato sack, and the blue one is probably from a Blue Bandana,” I said as soon as the whole team was assembled in the front hallway.
“If I not mistaken from what you said, Blizzard, that means that Noel was ambushed as soon as he re-entered his bedroom. If that’s the case, then he never had a chance against his kidnapper because he never got to use his deafening screech on them. Hmm, that makes sense because according to Thunder Wave, he and his brother did not hear anything from their bedrooms. I doubt that we would be here if they did hear something,” Opren told us as he crossed his arms.
“Hold on. Even though Noel was forcibly stuffed into a potato sack, he would have been thrashing around significantly, making things difficult. I don’t think that a single Hissi would have been able to control a trashing JubJub, let alone stuffing one into an old potato sack, but two seems more plausible. I know it’s just speculation at the moment, but when you think about it, there were no signs of a prolonged struggle,” Solar Flare said. I thought about it for a few seconds and found that he was right, so I nodded my head. Aura nodded as well, confirming his statement.
Even though we were not official detectives yet, I felt that we had progressed a lot during the time that we were investigating. We were nowhere close to solving it, but we were making a good impression on our clients. All we needed now was the big break that would help us solve the case.
To be continued…