White Weewoos don't exist. *shifty eyes* Circulation: 196,731,789 Issue: 938 | 18th day of Relaxing, Y23
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Lupe Pack Detectives-The Fake Detective


by lupe_hunter_7

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Two days had passed since the revelation that Ellipse was not all that he appeared to be, yet none of us were closer to solving the case and bringing him to justice due to a lack of clues as the deadline ticked down. Even a reexamination of the crime scene, as well Terra and Squire Oak’s, proved to be fruitless. I could also sense the frustration building up within the Bookworms and the Royal Detectives when we were reviewing our notes to see if we may have missed anything.

      As we were reviewing our notes again, a knock interrupted us. I got up from my seat and opened the door to reveal Grace. I wondered what was going on, but I figured she was here to inform us of another fire.

      “I hope that I’m not intruding or disturbing you from your work, Blizzard. Anyways, we got another fire and it appears to have been started the same way as the previous ones. The location is at 489 Wishing Well Drive.” I thanked her for the news as I told her that we were on our way.

      While I was not too concerned about the Bubble Detective as she was not the intended target, the fact that the fire occurred near her Neohome, which was located just a few houses from the torched Neohome, was far too much of a coincidence. I suspected that Ellipse wanted to catch her attention and get her to join his ‘little game’ or seek revenge for the case she was working with the PPL.

      As soon as I arrived, along with Opren, Terra, and Squire Oak, we could see the Bubble Detective, a Pink Lupe, talking with another volunteer firefighter, a Striped Aisha. As soon as the Aisha was finished, the Bubble Detective came up to us. Opren told us that he would start his interviews as he left.

      “This is a rare sight, having you, Terra and Squire Oak without the rest of your teams. Still, it’s serious enough if it involves the three of you, considering your reputations.” She motioned us to follow us to her Neohome.

      “Even though you’re retired, what do you know so far about the fire so far, Bubble Gum?” I asked her after we entered her living room and took a seat.

      “Well, as my Neohome was close to the fire, I could smell the Kraku Berry Juice. I think there was a hint of Queela as well, but the Kraku Berry Juice did its purpose of covering it up.” We were surprised to hear that a different bomb was used, but nonetheless, it still matched our situation, thus confirming that the Bubble Detective was now indirectly involved.

      “In other words, it appears that it is the work of a copycat, but we won’t know for sure until we investigate the scene itself. I have my doubts, given the circumstances,” Squire Oak said, grimacing a bit. The Bubble Detective then asked us what was going on, so we told her.

      After we told her the situation, she grabbed her bubble pipe and began thinking, blowing the occasional bubble out. She then placed it back on the small table after she was finished.

      “Reminds me of a case I helped the PPL with. It was Glitter who came to me regarding the situation after a few members, herself included, were challenged by Ellipse. She was close to cracking the case but was stumped by a few details, so she came to me for some insight. Give me some time to dig up that file for you.”

      We definitely had forgotten about the case that the Bubble Detective had been involved in, but it was good to hear that she would help us out. Seeing as we had nothing else to ask her, we got up and headed to the front door as we still had to investigate the actual fire.

      As soon as Terra turned the doorknob, the door suddenly swung open and smacked her right in the face, causing her to yelp out in pain as she briefly stumbled back before falling onto the floor, slightly dazed from the hit. I could see that it was Ellipse standing outside the door before he entered, asking if the Bubble Detective was in, much to my annoyance, seeing as we had just finished our visit and was about to head out.

      “In case you haven’t noticed, I have visitors. I do not appreciate uninvited and impatient guests barging in without even bothering to check. Anyways, what do you want?” she replied with a tone that suggested that she was also annoyed.

      “I just want your insight, as you are the famed Bubble Detective. I know that the arsonist uses Egg and Queela Bombs to torch the place and then cover it up with Kraku Berry Juice, so what do you think is the personality?” Instead of answering, she firmly told him to come back later as she was going to review a past case for us.

      As soon as he left, I realized that he may have involuntarily given himself away as the arsonist as he mentioned Queela Bomb, something that we actually had not determined despite what the Bubble Detective told us. There was also the fact that I did not give any details about how the fire was started to the reporters and I was certain that both Terra and Squire Oak did the same thing as well when they were questioned.

      Terra was still dazed by the time we arrived at the scene, so we thought it would be best for her to rest for the time being until she was ready to join us. During our preliminary search, I found an intact Queela Bomb that had been left untouched by the Kraku Berry Juice and quite some distance away from the actual fire, likely dropped by accident without the arsonist being aware. Knowing that the intact bomb was important to the case in multiple ways, I quickly sealed it up with the intention of sending it to the Virtupets Space Station for analysis.

      It seemed like the stars were starting to align for us as Terra, who had just recovered from her hit, found a scale from a Scorchio as she was walking to help us out in our search, in addition to the unexploded Queela Bomb. There was even more good news for us, mainly with Opren as he had mentioned that a couple of Neopians spotted a Shadow Scorchio within the vicinity before the fire occurred, but could not confirm if it was Ellipse. Still, that news Opren gave us was useful.

      Moments later, Baron Rouge flew down from his work, also confirming that Ellipse started the fire. Thanks to him, we now had the so-called detective, we just needed to confront him during the appointed time. He also warned us that some suspicious Neopians were watching us. After telling us, Squire Oak dismissed the Baron, but did tell him to keep a close eye on the individuals.

      For the most part, we were finished with the investigation, so Opren and I parted ways with Terra and Squire Oak and headed back to our Neohome. As we walked down the path to the front door, someone called out our names, so I turned around and saw that it was Nimbus, along with the Bubble Detective and a Silver Acara. I immediately recognized the Acara as Glitter was a good friend of Aura back when Aura was working with the PPL.

      “Imagine my surprise when I found out that the day editor for the Neopian Times and my boss just happens to be the former PPL agent who brought Ellipse to justice the first time,” Nimbus told us.

      “Nimbus and the Bubble Detective informed me of the situation, and I’m more than happy to help you out in any way that I can.” I nodded before inviting them into our Neohome for further discussion, fully aware that we were still being watched, leaving us vulnerable for our conversations to be overheard if we remained outside.

      Once the entire family was assembled, Glitter began talking about the case as the Bubble Detective handed me the case file for us to look over. Glitter ending up confirming that Ellipse’s typical method was to use a smelly bomb, usually as a distraction before striking again at the same location by starting a fire and then kidnapping the petpet for ransom.

      “It’s a shame that Aura or Terra were never challenged by him until now. They definitely could have put him in his place when both were working at the PPL if Glitter had not been. Still, he made the mistake of challenging some of the brightest minds out there as he’s not aware that both Aura and Terra are former PPL agents,” Bubble Gum replied after Glitter was finished.

      “That’s true, Bubble Gum, but he also did not do his research carefully, leading to some sloppy results as he’s so focused on winning the challenge. For example, both Nimbus and I are technically recognized as detectives under Watson, but we operate under different rules as we are both investigative reporters for the Times. Despite the differences, that’s a mistake no aspiring detective would make.”

      As soon as we were finished, Aura decided to spend some time with her former PPL colleague so that they could catch up while the rest of the family had other matters to attend to. While Nimbus was waiting for Glitter, I pulled him to one side and told him to retrieve the case file from my office and leave it in his Neohome office, to which he agreed to. I had a feeling that Ellipse would be informed about the PPL case file and would do anything to retrieve it or our case file in order to make ourselves look bad.

      When I was finished talking with him, I went to our supplies room in order to create a couple of false case files. As soon as I returned to my office, I placed the file right on top of the Elegant Writing Desk and in the open. I had thought about erasing the notes on the Chalkboard, but decided against it as I knew any potential thieves would want to be quick and nearly all did not bring writing tools.

      Although Glitter left with the PPL case, Aura told me that we would be receiving a copy in the mail, similar to the list of detectives and the criminal records that we had already received. The PPL case was just the icing on the cake.

     

******

      The following morning, upon entering my office, I discovered that someone had broken into my office and stolen the fake file that I had created, thanks to the broken window and the mess created by the thief. As soon as Solar Flare mentioned reporting the theft, I simply shook my head as I told the family what I had done as Nimbus brought out the case file. As far as I was concerned, the trap had been set and Ellipse had nothing.

     To be continued…

 
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