Janet and Jane: The Case of the Rough Waters: Part Two
"Alright, so why on Neopia are we here? What are we supposed to figure out?” I said in a yawn. I didn't get much sleep last night. After that little incident, you couldn't blame me. That and we had to sleep on rocks.
“Governor Gavril McGill said there were multiple incidents of larceny and robbery,” Jane replied. “We're here to figure out who's doing this.”
“What's larceny?” James asked. He didn't know much about criminal terms. He was an intern. You know, working for knowledge. This wasn't the first time he asked about a term (I once spent half an hour trying to explain to him the difference between burglary and robbery).
“It's like robbery, but without force or deceit,” I explained. “Like pickpocketing.”
“Then why isn't it just larceny?”
Jane sighed, “Because, James, not all of the thefts were subtle.” She looked down at the sheet of paper in her hand. “I was told that a few got injured in some.”
“And one Neopet is doing all of that?” Natia asked.
“I highly doubt it,” Jane folded up the piece of paper and put it in her pocket. “There are over a dozen cases that happened in the last month. I think that a pirate crew is doing it.”
Shocker. A pirate crew committing crimes. Who would have thought? I didn't like that we most likely had to go after a pirate crew. Like last time went so well. I didn't even try to hide my frustration this time. I was muttering to myself, hoping nobody would hear me. Jane (of course) heard me and elbowed my side.
“Janet, I know you're the most upset that we have to deal with anything involving pirates, but could you please just deal with it?” Jane asked. “I'm not thrilled, either, but it needs to be done.”
“I'm more irritated by...” I responded. I wasn't even going to say his name. “You know who.”
James was talking to Natia. I assumed that he was asking about the Neopet I didn't like very much. I didn't bother to listen in. I was just trying to figure out how I could work with the Neopets Jane was talking about without fighting with... Don't think about him, Janet. Don't think about him. Just focus at the task at hand – finding out who was committing these thefts. The sooner you solve the case, the sooner you could leave. Maybe I wouldn't even have to run into him.
Jane went into Governor Gavril McGill's mansion. Natia, James, and I waited outside. James and Natia were still talking. I still didn't care about what they were talking about, so I just ignored them. I just sat on the porch and thought about all of this. Something told me that this was going to be worse than last time.
“So ye came here to get McGill's help, too?”
I turned my head to the voice. A pirate Buzz was walking up to me. He sat down next to me. Huh, he seemed nice.
“Mhmm. Are you?” I asked the Buzz.
“Ye bet,” he answered. He crossed his arms.
“Well, I be part of a pirate crew, but me fellow pirates were robbed.”
Now I was interested. I said, “By who?”
“No clue. Me captain thinks that the crew of the Marooner robbed him.” Hmm, Marooner. I had to remember that. “I be sent here to tell McGill what happened. Was your crew robbed too?”
He thought I was a pirate? Must be the clothes (at least I was fitting in). Well, might as well go with that. If I looked the part, I would talk the part. “Aye. Me mateys and I be here to talk to McGill.”
“Who be your mateys?”
“The two Neopets over there are me mateys.” I pointed at Natia and James. “One other be inside.”
“Aye.” The Buzz crossed his arms. “What be your name?”
I didn't think of an alias yet! I just said the first name that came to mind. “Olivia. Yer name?”
“I be Ivan,” the Buzz answered. “Maybe I should come back later. How long has yer friend been inside?”
“Almost fifteen minutes. I be sure she will come out soon.”
Sure enough, Jane did come out soon. She walked up next to me. The Korbat examined the Buzz. She didn't meet him yet, so I understood.
“Ah, what took so long?” I asked. “Ivan, this be me matey, Paige.” Jane looked at me with confusion in her eyes, but she figured out where this was going and rolled with it.
“Paige, nice to meet ye,” Ivan said kindly. He shook her hand. “I hope ye don't mind, but I was talking to Olivia.”
“No, I don't mind,” Jane replied casually.
“Alright, Ivan. McGill oughta be free now. Ye can go talk to him now,” I informed.
“Aye.” Ivan walked into the mansion. “Nice meeting ye, Olivia,” was the last thing he said before the doors closed.
“Paige?” Jane asked.
I held up my hands in defense and said, “Hey, he started talking to me, and I was sure that if I didn't say an alias, he would ask for your name. Jane, I know you, you wouldn't be able to think of a name that fast.”
Jane tapped her foot, but then shrugged her shoulders. She knew I was right. And I was. Jane wasn't always the best at making up stuff on the spot. That was my specialty. Whenever she was stuck on something, expect me to join in on the conversation.
“At least you thought of aliases,” Jane said calmly. “We needed to do that.” She looked over my shoulder and at Natia. “Natia, what about you? You need an alias.”
“Oh, I already thought of that,” she said perkily. “How's Janet?”
I shook my head. Jane said to her, “Try to stay away from our names.”
“The how about Alice?” Natia crossed her arms. Jane gave her a thumbs-up.
James suddenly asked, “What about me? What should be my alias?”
“You don't need one, James,” Jane informed. “You weren't here last time.”
“Yes, but I feel like I should, since you three have them.”
“Just think of one if you'd like,” I chimed in. It didn't really matter if he had an alias or not, but if he wanted one, he could go on ahead. Nobody would recognize him as our apprentice.
While James contemplated what his new alias was going to be, we walked around. Jane told me all about what McGill said (I swear, it was word for word (I could tell by how much she said)). Still, no matter how much she was told, she didn't find out if he had any leads on solving this case. Okay, so McGill, the governor of Krawk Island, was having problems with this for more than two weeks and didn't know where this issue was coming from? Alright, sure, great governor.
Luckily for all of us, I did have a lead. I told her what Ivan told me – about how his ship was robbed and that his captain thought that it was the crew of the Marooner. That was the closest thing to a lead so far, so Jane said that we should look for it.
Let me tell you something. Looking for one specific pirate ship on Krawk Island was like finding a needle in a haystack – it was near impossible and it was time consuming. We saw over a hundred ships and none of them was the Marooner (alright, I may be exaggerating a little bit, but it certainly felt like that – then again, who knew, I lost count). It was twilight when we decided to check out our last ship for the night.
This last ship didn't have a name on the hull like the other ships. Strange, because I was pretty sure that all pirate ships had to have its name on the hull. This would make it easier to tell one from the other. If there wasn't a name on the side, then how were we going to find out if it was the Marooner or not?
“What do you think this ship is named?” Natia asked. “I think it would be called something cool like the Double Cross or something.”
I shook my head in disagreement and replied with, “Nah, I don't think it would be called something like that.”
“Then what do you think it would be called?” The alien Aisha crossed her arms, trying to look serious.
I shrugged my shoulders. “I don't know.”
“Then I'm going to call it the Double Cross.”
“You know, the best way to figure out the name of the ship is to ask the Neopets that are on board what the it's called,” Jane said. I was uneasy with that idea. Unlike her, I didn't want anything to do with pirates. I was already here. She was pushing it with getting on a ship.
Apparently, I wasn't the only one that was uneasy with the idea. James was, too. The purple Bori said, “I don't know about that, Jane. Don't you think we could get in a little trouble?”
“I agree with James,” I added. “Jane, your ideas aren't always winners, but this one is probably one of the worst.”
Then Natia joined in with, “I'm with Jane. What could go wrong?”
“You two can stay here if you'd like,” Jane said calmly. She began to walk to the ship. “Natia and I are going to be back in a few minutes.”
James and I looked at each other uneasily. I had a bad feeling about this. From the look on James' eyes, he had a bad feeling, too. You could feel the unease that lingered in the air. We both looked at each other and shared the same thought – something bad was going to happen. James shrugged.
With the both of us worrying about the feeling in our guts, we joined the others on the ship.
The ship was a bit bigger than a normal ship, but the inside was massive. There were lots of rooms and hallways and there was enough space to house a big crew. The only place that I would say wasn't impressive was the bilge. It was musty and dank. Some puddles of seawater were collecting on the floor.
One thing I noticed as we went though the ship was that we ran into a total of zero Neopets. I knew that this ship wasn't abandoned, due it its nice condition. Pirates did sometimes leave like one or two crew members on the ship to watch it while docked, but I had the feeling that wasn't the case. I didn't know what made me feel that way, but I just did.
Little did I know that I had reason to worry.
When we reached the deck of the ship, it was night. It was a full moon and a clear sky, so we had the light from the moon and stars. Supra, my glowing Miamouse, hopped out of my bag, so she helped light up the area a bit more.
“This ship is deserted,” I muttered.
“I think there's someone here,” Jane argued.
“Yeah, yer not giving up yet, now are ye?” Natia asked. She was beginning to talk like a pirate again.
“No,” I said firmly. “I just think–”
The sudden outburst made all four of us jump. Alright, so we weren't alone. The four of us were going to make a Buzzer-line to the exit, but a whole bunch of pirates suddenly surrounded us. Uh oh. I knew something like this was going to happen.
“Who might ye four be and why are ye on the Marooner?” a voice asked from the crowd. Marooner. Huh, we were at the right place. A blue Krawk walked out of the crowd and into the little circle that they formed around us. The Krawk had fancy pirate clothes. Even his hair showed that he was the most sophisticated of the bunch. He was the captain. I didn't need much more explanation – I knew he was. The Krawk continued, “Are ye working with someone?”
Alright, there was no way out of this without lying. Time for me to step in. I stepped closer to the Krawk and said, “No, of course not. We wish to join the crew of the Marooner.” I didn't even need to look to see Jane, Natia, and James were surprised at what I said. I had the feeling the looks on their faces matched the Krawk's.
The Krawk became less bitter, but still had some of it in his voice. “Ye wish to join the crew?”
“Aye. Ye see, me mateys and I heard tales about the famous Marooner all around Krawk Island.” I grinned slyly. “I be sure ye could use a few more hands, am I right?”
The Krawk gave a crooked smile. I was appealing to him. “I suppose ye be right.”
“Captain Layton, do ye think this be a good idea?” a voice from the crowd asked. “These Neopets were going around our ship.”
“There be no harm in letting them join the crew,” the Krawk – Layton, as the voice said – argued. He walked up in front of me. “What be yer names?”
“Mine is Olivia.” I turned to my friends. They still looked a bit confused. “The Korbat be Paige, the Aisha be Alice, and the Bori be–”
“Marco. My name is Marco,” James interrupted. Okay, Marco. I didn't have an alias for him, so good thing he said that.
“Pleasure to meet ye,” Layton said kindly. He held out a callused hand. I shook it with enthusiasm. “Welcome to the crew.”
“Pleasure to be a part,” I replied. It was official – I wasn't going to like this case one bit.
To be continued…