Janet and Jane: The Case of the Vanished: Part One
It had been five years to the day since... It's a little hard for me to explain, really. Let me just say that a couple Neopets Jane and I were close to left us... Jane and I didn't like to talk about it. We didn't even like to think about it. Don't expect me to tell you more about what this is about.
To distract myself from the anniversary of this certain day, I read the journal I got from Brightvale University a couple months back. This would be the, I don't know, thirtieth time I read it since I got it? I tended to read it when I was bored and had nothing to do. Since it was slow here in recent weeks, I spent a lot of my free time reading it. I pretty much memorized the contents of each page, but still I read it.
It was more than dangerous concoctions than I had originally thought. There were also sketches of these strange creature things that had a vague resemblance to Petpets and Petpetpets. I had no idea if they were real or not. I sure hoped that they weren't. According to the notes that were on each page, each and every one of them were pretty dangerous. Some were even warned about.
“Reading through that same book again?”
I turned around. Jane was in the middle of the doorframe looking at me. After a moment of eye contact, she walked in and stood next to me. Her eyes looked over the page I was on. She even turned the page when she was done.
“I can't help it,” I argued. “The things in this journal are pretty interesting.”
“I've read it a few times and I can agree,” Jane responded. “But I've seen you nose deep in that thing all week. How many times have you read it?”
“Enough to memorize most of the content.”
Jane pulled up a chair and sat next to me. “Why are you reading that again, anyway? If you read it multiple times–”
“It gives me something to think about,” I interrupted. “Instead of–”
“Oh yeah.” The shadow Korbat rubbed the back of her head. “I don't like thinking about Matt and Lauren, either. Not because I didn't like them, but–”
“–because it's hard to imagine them gone,” I finished. I shut the journal and looked at my best friend. “Because it's just us now.”
Jane slowly nodded. “There is Natia and James–”
“You know what I mean.”
“I know.” Jane got up and stretched. “Just us.” She took the journal off of the table. “Now Janet, we have to get going.”
“Where do we have to go?” I asked.
“The police chief wanted to talk to us about something.”
The thought of that made me a bit unhappy. I didn't like the police chief and he didn't like me. Usually when we were in the same room for about fifteen minutes, we would get in an argument regardless of what we were discussing or who was present. I wasn't in the mood for that at the moment.
“Did he mention what he wanted to talk to us about?” I asked after I got out of my chair.
Jane shook her head. “No. He just said that it was important.”
“Are Natia and James coming?”
“Again, no. He wanted to talk to us. Just us. Besides, they're both late.” Jane walked to the door. “Leave a note saying we went out.”
I quickly scribbled a note saying what we were doing and ran back up to Jane. We left the building and took a walk out of the forest and into Neopia Central. The walk to the police station wasn't to far from here. It was by the Auction House. We passed that pretty quick and then we were there.
The police seemed to be more stressed these day. Jane and I were greeted with the sight of a dozens of yellow Chias running around when we walked in. The two of us made our way past the stressed bunch and to the front desk. The Chia behind the desk was busy with paperwork.
“Excuse me?” Jane said kindly. “The police chief wanted to see us?”
The Chia looked up at the two of us. “Janet and Jane,” he said in a monotone voice. “He did want to talk to you, yes.”
“Do you mind telling me where he is?”
“Heh, I would if I knew.” He looked back down at the paperwork on his desk. “He's been all around the building today. Look in his office. That's my best guess. You know where that is, right?”
Jane nodded. “We know where it is. Thank you.”
The two of us walked down the hall. We've been here multiple times, so navigating the winding hallways wasn't so much of a struggle as it was a chore. The police chief's office was pretty much on the opposite side of the station. I wasn't in the mood for walking (or anything, for that matter).
Everything seemed to be calmer the farther back we got in the station. It might be because Jane and I only ran into three others on our way back. The lack of chaos made it much easier for me to think. I was wondering what on Neopia the police chief wanted to talk to us about. The only reason I could think of is that I mouthed off at him and he demanded an apology. I didn't do that recently, so it wasn't that.
The moment Jane and I entered the police chief's office, he barked, “Whoever it is, get out!” at us. Yes, warm reception. He was too busy looking at files to even know it was Jane and I.
“You said you wanted to see us,” I snapped.
The yellow Chia looked up at us. “Oh, yes. I didn't know it was you.”
“Looking up would have helped.”
The Chia was going to make a snide remark, but he let it go. “You're lucky I don't have the time to argue with you.”
“If you don't mind me asking,” Jane began. “why is everyone in such a frenzy today? I don't remember seeing everyone like this last time we were here.”
“We're in a very confusing case of a crime ring. Don't ask about it.” The Chia motioned us to his desk. We walked up to the desk and looked at the files strewn across the desk top. “We have another pressing case to take care of, though, and all of our attention must be directed to this crime ring.”
“Do you want us to help you with the crime ring case?” I asked.
The Chia sternly said, “No. We can handle it.”
I muttered, “It doesn't look like it.”
The police chief decided to ignore that comment of mine. “I need you two to handle the other case.”
Jane crossed her arms and asked, “And what is this other case?”
“You know Matthew and Lauren Treiger. Very well. I know that for a fact.”
I had a gut-wrenching feeling that it involved them. Ugh, why? I didn't want to think about them. Of all days, it had to be this day. Of course. I missed them, yeah, but I didn't want to think of them. It would make it worse for me.
“Yes, of course we know them,” I said. “They caught a fatal strain of Hoochie Coochies five years ago and–”
“That isn't what happened.”
That was strange. I remembered it happening like that. I distinctly remembered getting a letter saying they passed from a bad strain of Hoochie Coochies. I still had the letter, actually.
“But that's what we were told,” I informed.
“Did they get infected with something different?” Jane suggested. “Neo Monia? Neoflu? Reptillioritus–”
“No,” the Chia interrupted again. “They weren't sick.”
I was getting very confused very fast. I said, “Were they poisoned or something? Accident? Foul play?”
“Janet, we can't confirm they're dead anymore!”
Not confirmed to be dead? Huh? How was that even possible? The workers at the hospital told us they got very sick and about a week later we got the bad news. If that couldn't be confirmed, then...
“What do you mean?” I asked. “We were told they passed away five years ago to the day.”
“Recent files and activity say they have not passed five years ago,” the police chief informed. He pushed a file towards us.
Jane spoke up. “So they're alive?”
“We can't confirm that, either. Until we hear otherwise, we are considering them alive. That's where you two come in.” The yellow Chia walked out from behind his desk. “I usually wouldn't do this, but we're extremely busy and can't handle it at the moment. You are going to find out if they are alive or not. Can I trust you to do that?” He crossed his arms. “I know you two were very close to Matthew and Lauren for obvious reasons.”
“Jane and I can certainly take the case,” I answered with enthusiasm.
“I don't want you two to get emotional if they are confirmed to be passed. Don't get upset if you hear that, okay?”
“Our emotions won't affect our investigation,” Jane informed.
The police chief did what I had never seen him do – he smiled. “Good. I am trusting you with this. Don't make me regret this decision. Do you understand?”
Jane and I nodded and said, “We understand.” at the same exact time.
The police chief handed us a few files and told us to get out. Too much to do, not enough time to do it or something along those lines. With no hesitation we left the building. It was a wonder how we made it out of the chaos at the front of the building. They were saying all sorts of stuff. I couldn't hear everything that they said, but I heard, “They'll bring destruction.” and “What they are doing is unethical.” a few times.
“I can't believe they might be alive,” I said to Jane the moment we were on the streets of Neopia Central.
“I can't believe we didn't know they were alive,” Jane replied. She looked through the folders of papers that we were handed. “Why wouldn't we be told about this? Matt and Lauren wouldn't lie to us about this, would they?”
I shook my head. “I don't think they would. Not without a valid reason, at least.”
“Of course. So if they are alive, they would have a very good reason, right?”
“Hopefully.” I looked out of the corner of my eye to see Jane looking through the papers. “Is there anyone that we can talk to in there? Like the hospital workers?”
“There's someone we can talk to, yes.” The Korbat pulled out a paper and showed it to me. There was a picture of a rainbow Xweetok on it. “You remember her, right?”
“You bet I do. How could I forget Allison? Oh, it's been forever since I've seen her.” I took the other folders that Jane had so she could put that away. “Is there an address?”
“Great! First stop, Allison's place.”
To be continued…
Author's Note: Hi guys, Rabbit here! Wow, ten series. That's awesome. :D Stay tuned for more Janet and Jane action!