Where there's a Weewoo, there's a way Circulation: 97,878,627 Issue: 186 | 15th day of Eating, Y7
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The Petpet Detectives: Case of the Stolen Sharky - Part One


by playmobil_is_my_life

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The soft white lights from inside the tanks cast blue shadows onto the floor of the Neopian Aquarium. The floor, streaked with a dark and light blue hue, seemed to dance. The glass walls stretched the entire length of the hall; they even arched upwards, forming a dome-like appearance. With the blue lights reflecting and the aquatic Petpets and plants scattered in the tank, it made you feel like you were at the bottom of the ocean.

      A red Zafara named Mindy whistled to herself as she carried a bucket of food to the separate tanks at the end of the hall. All around her were Aquatic petpets-a school of Pfish swam through the sea grass, two white Primella were munching on some Sea Pineapples and a large Walein was resting on a flat rock.

      Mindy smiled at them, and pushed open a door to the right that read, "Staff Only". She climbed a metal ladder to the rim of the tank and peered over the edge. Mindy hung the bucket by its handle on the side of the tank and called,

      "Scout?"

      Scout was a small Sharky who lived in this tank alone. He was one of the last of his species, and was going to be the main attraction at the Neopian Aquarium.

      "Hey, Scout, I've got something for you…" Mindy squinted, trying to see down into the water. She pulled a large Stuffed Sea Cucumber out of the pail.

      A pair of red eyes looked up at her. Then ever so slowly, Scout the Sharky came out of the cave he was hiding in. Mindy jiggled the food around, "Come get it!" she called. He swam to the surface and opened his mouth. Mindy tossed the Stuffed Sea Cucumber in and he chewed happily.

      Mindy grinned, "There you go, buddy!" She gave him a pat on his back-which had little white spots. Since Scout was one of the only Sharky's left in all of the Neopian oceans, he always received special care and attention.

      Scout flipped over onto his back and Mindy rubbed his belly. He was about the size of Mindy's hands put together: A tiny guy. But Scout was one of the most affectionate Sharky's ever-Mindy was sure of that. She fed him a second Stuffed Sea Cucumber and climbed back down the ladder, carrying the bucket. The Zafara slipped out the door, closing it behind her. Mindy went further down the hall to see Scout in his tank, enjoying a piece of his treat. He soon disappeared into his favorite cave where he finished his food.

      "See you tomorrow, Scout," she called, and Mindy started down the hall to feed the other petpets.

      Just as she was about to disappear into a staff room to feed a group of Gulpers their Coral Salads, she heard someone call her name.

      "Hey Mindy."

      Mindy turned around. It was her friend: a skunk-colored Kyrii named Jay. She smiled and said, "Hi, Jay."

      "What are you doing here so late?"

      "Oh, I was just giving Scout a treat. He is our main attraction after all," she laughed.

      "Yeah, I can't wait for the grand opening!" Jay smiled too. "It's going to be great."

      "Sure will be," Mindy echoed and she started off again, "See you tomorrow."

      "Yep, tomorrow." The Kyrii turned and set off in the opposite direction.

      Mindy stopped in her office to get the second bucket of food for the other petpets. She set the empty bucket down and paused before picking the other one up. Two piles of letters were neatly stacked, all addressed from the same people.

      "Oh, Mindy?" Jay appeared in the doorway. He handed Mindy another letter. "This came for us today. Thought you should see it."

       Mindy sighed and took the letter, but instead of opening it, she tossed it on the desk. "I'll get to it tomorrow," she said and picked up the second bucket.

      Jay gave her a consoling pat on the back and they exited the office.

     ***

      It was just before noon, and I had my paw pressed up against the window to the petpet shop in Neopia Central. A Puppyblew in the window jumped and yapped excitedly at my paw, scratching the glass and wagging his tail.

      I grinned to myself and moved my white paw across the glass. The Puppyblew followed it with his nose. I sat down on a bench outside right in front of the petpet shop.

      The weather was perfect-the sun was warm, yet the air was cool. It was the 17th day of the month of Storing. Usually Neopia's weather was supposed to be colder in this month, but luckily it remained temperate.

      "Charlie?" I called. My brother, or rather, comrade, was sitting on the windowsill, his green face pressed against the glass. Being a pea Chia, he could pretty much sit wherever he wanted-as long as it was off the ground.

      "Ready to go?" I asked.

      "Sure," he said. I started over to him and lowered my head. He climbed onto it, positioning himself between my ears-his usual spot.

      With just a flap of my white wings-we'd be miles into the sky. Sadly, I hadn't been flying much lately. You'd think that being a white Eyrie, I was supposed to fly a lot, relaxing in the clear blue sky. But there hadn't been much time to relax-our job always got in the way. And believe me, we take our job very seriously.

     When I say "we", I mean the other Neopets in our group-Damien and Luna. The four of us were detectives: petpet detectives. Solving mysteries was what we did best. When there was word of a missing Angelpuss or stolen Magtile, we'd be there faster than you can say "mystery". Our most recent case involved a kidnapped Kadoatie, twin Chia brothers and a threat regarding the Kadoatery. Quite a sticky situation if you ask me!

     Charlie and I were meeting Damien and Luna at the Pizzaroo for a nice and relaxing lunch. However, just moments later, I had a feeling that the "nice and relaxing lunch" was going to be put off. Luna, a shadow Yurble was waving us over.

     "Hey, guys, you have to see this!" she said, her brown eyes shining with excitement. "There's something big going on at The Neopian Aquarium!"

     "The Aquarium?" I echoed. "But that hasn't opened yet."

     "Well, no," Luna proclaimed. "Come on, Marlo, we should check it out. The Neopian Aquarium has hundreds of Aquatic petpets, and I have a feeling that we could be of service."

     I highly doubted that this had anything to do with detective work, but she led me further down the street, where I could see a group of Neopets gathered. As Luna weaved through the crowd, we passed The Pizzaroo. My mouth watered as the smell of hot, fresh pizza wafted out of the open window.

     The delicious scent made me definitely wanted to stop, but Luna dragged me on. She was the persistent type-the one who had to be in the front row when a mystery was announced. She could sniff out a mystery like I could sniff out a double cheese pizza from miles away.

     I spotted Damien, a male royal Aisha at the edge of the crowd. The sun winked off his gold necklace. The white feather on his hat blew softly in the breeze.

     "I heard them say something about a Sharky that disappeared this morning!" he said excitedly.

     "Sharky?" I inquired.

     "Aquatic Petpet," Luna said, in a matter-of-fact tone. "It's probably rare, I've never seen one before."

     "We have to get over there," Charlie tugged on my ear, the thing he does when he wants my attention.

     "Okay, I have an idea," I said, "Hop on."

     As always, Damien and Luna scrambled onto my back and I slowly started to push through the crowd. A few Neopets cast some rude glances our way, but hey, this could be another job so I just ignored them. Though I'm sure we looked funny-a huge Eyrie carrying three Neopets through a crowd of confused bystanders. A green Ruki turned to me and whined,

     "Hey, the rest of us want to see what's happened too! What gives you the right to move to the front?"

     I looked down at the green Ruki, "I'm sorry for the inconvenience, sir, but we are detectives here to handle this situation. Please keep up the good work of being an assertive civilian, though!"

     The Ruki nodded, apparently a bit embarrassed. Luna kicked me in the ribs and told me to keep moving to the front.

     "Excuse me," the tallest Neopets, who only came up to my shoulder, parted. "Umm…" I tried to get the Zafara's attention, "Ma'am?"

     A red Zafara, with wide concerned eyes said to the crowd, "Look, I'm sorry, but you all will have to clear out. We'll have to have someone come in to look at this."

     "Did you say a Sharky was stolen?" Damien asked. The Zafara looked up and nodded slowly.

     "Yes," she murmured, looking up at him, "but I'm not sure there's much you can do."

     "Well, this is your lucky day," I said cheerily. "We're detectives: Petpet detectives, really. Do you mind if we take a look?"

     "I'm sure we can help," Luna chimed in.

     "Oh, this is wonderful!" the Zafara said, her frown blossoming into a grin. "Come inside!"

     By this time I was positive that we would not be stopping at The Pizzaroo for lunch.

To be continued…

 
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