Still thwarting Sloth's mind control... Circulation: 194,653,617 Issue: 784 | 2nd day of Relaxing, Y19
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Janet and Jane: The Case of the Monster Hunter: Part Two

by chasing_stars44


      "This fog is so thick, I can barely see my hand in front of me,” I commented as we went through Neovia.

           “You get used to it,” Kell replied. “It's always bad in the morning. It'll go away at around ten.”

           “You're going to lead me around Neovia until then. You live here and I've only been here a few times.”

           He laughed. “I can do that.”

           I followed him through what I could see of Neovia. I was here before on a case or two, but I could not get through the fog without a little help. Why was this place always so foggy? It was near the Haunted Woods, yes, but I didn't think that the source of this fog came from there.

           Good, the fog was beginning to lift. I could see the town a bit more, the cobblestone street, the canal that we were walking by, etc. Kell still led me through the town. He knew Neovia much more than I did, after all. I didn't want to get lost.

           “So what were you working on last night?” Kell asked, trying to start a conversation.

           I sighed. I really wasn't supposed to tell anyone this, but Jane and I were considering telling him and Corbin. After all, if there were experiments, something scary was going to be made. And that would mean that someone would have to catch it.

           “Trying to stop a crime ring,” I answered simply.

           “Doesn't that seem a bit big for the four of you?” Kell said uneasily.

           “We're not doing it alone. The Chia Police is working on it, too. After a half hour argument with him, I got it so that we're working on it as well.”

           He snickered a little. “You two get along worse than we do.” Then I snickered. “Though we seem to be getting along pretty well recently. Do you know why?”

           It was true, actually. While we were at each other's throats on a regular basis, things have been better in recent days. We didn't argue as much, so that was a good thing. To be honest, I didn't know why this was the case.

           “To be honest with you, I have as much of a clue as you,” I answered. “Don't expect me to get into any arguments with you. You're my client now. I at least try to be civil with a client.”

           “Try being the key word.”

           I decided to ignore that. Now what to do first. If it happened a week ago, then I would look around for clues. Only it was five years. That meant that any clue that was left (if there was any, that is) would most likely be gone by now. Alright, maybe there were some articles about him? Kell did say he was a monster hunter like him.

           If I recalled, there was an archive of the Neovian paper in Town Hall. Maybe that would be a good place to start. I suggested the idea to Kell. He thought it was a good idea. I didn't need his leadership for this one. I knew where it was (it sure helped that it was the tallest building in Neovia).

           The Town Hall was open to anybody, but there wasn't anybody inside. I wondered why that was the case. Was everybody working? Or was it just a slow day. It could be both – it could always be both.

           “Why is this place so empty?” I asked.

           “It's Sunday. It's never busy on Sundays,” Kell answered. “Mr. Camden should be in, though. I guess he's in his office.”

           That made sense. I was pretty sure I knew where it was, so I started walking. “I know where that is.”

           “No you don't, considering that you're going the wrong way.”

           I turned around. “I knew that.” I walked with Kell as he went the right way. “Kell, I just want to say something before we do anything. While I hope that this will end up good, I can't guarantee that your dad is alive. Don't get upset if that's the case, okay?”

           He nodded. “To be honest, that's what I've been thinking what happened. I just want to see if that's the case.”

           “I understand, you wanting to be sure.”

           He suddenly stopped at a door. The Wocky knocked on the door once. No response. He knocked on it again. Again, no response. I grabbed the doorknob and tried to turn it. It was locked. Of course it was locked. Why wouldn't it be?

           “I guess Mr. Camden has work to do today,” Kell thought out loud. He looked at me. “Now what?”

           “Clearly, we have to start somewhere else,” I answered. “The only problem is that I have no clue where that would be.” I leaned on the door. “That's the problem with this case. Since it's a few years old, there isn't many clues that I could find.” I sighed and remained quiet for a minute. What I was doing was figuring out how to say the next part. “I hate to say this, but don't be surprised if I can't find anything. It's just that–”

           I was about to finish my thought when the door I was leaning on opened. That sent me falling to the floor on my back. While I was now staring up at the ceiling, Mr. Camden looked down at me.

           “I am so sorry. I had no idea you were leaning on the door,” Mr. Camden apologized.

           Mr. Camden was a really nice Neopet. I did a couple cases for him in the past (one of which being the one where I met Kell and Corbin) and I could say that he is very easy to work for. He was very understanding and was very happy to see Jane and I. He did get depressed easily, but he was cheerful for the most part.

           The silver Yurble offered a hand to help me up. Instead of taking it, I just got off of the floor. Once I was back up on my feet, I looked at him. The brown hair he had was becoming more and more silver each time I saw him. He had a smile on his face, showing that he was happy to see me.

           “Janet, a pleasure to see you,” he said kindly. He shook my hand.

           “It's a pleasure to see you, too,” I responded.

           “If you do not mind me asking, why are you here?” Mr. Camden looked at me inquisitively. “Are you working for someone?”

           I nodded. “Actually, I am. Kell told me you have copies of the paper here in Neovia and we need to look through them. Can we?”

           He didn't even hesitate to answer that. “Oh, of course you can look through them. There are plenty of extras, anyway, so take some if you need to.”

           That was good. It made my life easier. I didn't have to argue with him. Anyway, Mr. Camden led Kell and I down a series of hallways and to a certain room that he said had the copies of the papers. And he was right. The first thing I saw when he opened the door was filing cabinets of what I assumed was the papers.

           Mr. Camden had other work to do today, so he left Kell and I alone. That was when we got to work. I thought it was a good idea to start around the time that his dad disappeared. I went through that while Kell... Well... I had no clue what he was doing. Looking through some other papers, I assume?

           “So how's that internship thing with James going?” Kell asked to break the silence.

           “It ended almost three months ago,” I answered. “Now he's a detective with us.”

           “He is?”

           “Mhmm.” I put the newspaper back in the drawer and pulled out a new one. “Good thing, too. We're working on something big.”

           “The crime ring?” He shut a drawer. “I know you guys don't stop them on a regular basis, but how is it big?”

           I sighed. He was going to find out eventually. I might as well tell him now. “This isn't a normal crime ring. No thefts, no fraud, no corruption.”

           “Then what on Neopia is going on?”

           “Experiments. Unlawful, unethical, dangerous experiments. I have no clue what they're trying to achieve, but I know it's bad.” I remained silent for a minute as I skimmed an article. It had no importance to me, so I put it back. “All of this is being kept a secret, so don't tell anyone.”

           “If it's supposed to be a secret, then why are you telling me?”

           “Easy question to answer.” I pulled one more newspaper out. “Jane and I were going to tell you. You and Corbin are monster hunters. With these experiments, something big and dangerous may get loose because of it. Somebody will have to catch it.” I looked at the paper. What was on the front concerned me. “Uh oh.”

           Kell looked up at me. “What'd you find?”

           “Let's just say that I found out what happened to your dad...”

           He didn't hesitate to walk up to me. My eyes were still fixated on the headline. “Famous Monster Hunter Passes While Trying to Catch Monster” was written across the top of the paper in big bold letters. I skimmed the article a bit and looked at the picture. The picture of him was in black and white, but I could easily see that this Neopet looked a lot like Corbin. That and the fact that he had the same last name as Kell led to the conclusion that it was his dad – and that he did more than disappear.

           “Sorry about this,” I said empathetically.

           “Why are you sorry?” Kell asked. “You had nothing to do with it. Besides, I always figured that's what happened. I just wanted to be sure.” He took the paper out of my hands.

           “Yes, but did you want to know?”

           “If I didn't, then why would I come to you?” The yellow Wocky read a bit of the article, then put it back. “I found another one about my dad, actually.”

           “What's it about?”

           He walked back to where he was and picked up a paper that was laying on the top of a filing cabinet. “My dad was a monster hunter. What do you think it's about?” He began to read it. “Reginald Merino catches monster that terrorized Haunted Woods. Along with his close colleagues, Lauren and Matthew Treiger–”

           Okay, hold up, Lauren and Matthew Treiger? Huh? I quickly stopped him. “Lauren and Matthew Treiger?”

           Kell looked up from the paper. “Well, yes. That's what the paper says.”

           “Give me that.” I walked over to him and snatched the paper out of his hands. He was right – their names were all over this article. “What? How on Neopia do they know him?”

           “I'll take it that you know this Lauren and Matthew.”

           “Oh, you can definitely say that.” I took the paper I had and the one I took from Kell and put them in my bag. Mr. Camden did say that he had extras and that we were free to take some copies if we needed to. “And I feel like it's time to have a talk with them.”

      To be continued…

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