Invisible Paint Brushes rock Circulation: 111,440,479 Issue: 193 | 2nd day of Relaxing, Y7
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The White Meowclops: Part Four

by auntfalcor


Part IV

Auryn had arrived back at the house long after Patches's friends had departed, and the rest of the day passed uneventfully. He had made himself a quick dinner of fresh fruit and ate it his room to avoid having to talk to his family, and when ten o'clock rolled around he guzzled caffeinated Achyfi until he felt that unpleasant buzz in his head that told him he wouldn't be getting any sleep that night even if he had wanted it.

      At one-fifteen Auryn quietly snuck out of the house and at one-thirty arrived at the hotdog stand. The night was pitch-black, and Auryn as shivered from the chilly night air he silently wished he had brought a coat along. The stand itself was out in the open, but by this time Neopian Central was completely deserted and as Auryn felt a chill run down his spine he couldn't help remind himself that the Police Department was all the way across town.

      Auryn hid behind a large tree and laid himself flat against the ground, trying his best not to be seen. Though it was too dark to see his watch it felt like hours had passed, and just when Auryn thought he had been mistaken and nothing was going to happen a figure carrying several items approached the stand.

      The figure, who Auryn realized had to have been Rubio, arrived at the back of the hotdog stand (which Auryn had a clear view of from his position behind the tree) and stood there for about five minutes until another figure, which appeared to be Franz, approached the area.

      The first figure spoke. "I've captured the Meowclops you wanted, and also a Gruslen, Miamouse, and Niptor. I'll take half a million for the whole lot of them."

      The second figure appeared to nod. "I'm glad you brought the Meowclops, the boss was getting impatient. It was careless for you to let it escape in the first place: one of my two nosy brothers could have gotten wise and ruined it for us." Yes, it was definitely Franz speaking.

      Franz took the items, which Auryn now realized were cages, from Rubio and handed him a bag of neopoints, which Rubio instantly opened up and examined its contents. "It's all there Rubio. It always is. Now help me load these onto the ship, Sloth wants them a.s.a.p."

      By this time Franz had picked up a few cages and started to walk away, and against all of his better judgment Auryn left his hiding place and tackled Rubio from behind, sending him falling to the ground with a cry of surprise. He held him there with ease, immensely grateful for his training at Techo Mountain, and warned Franz, "I have a transmogrification potion, and unless you tell me exactly what I want to know right now Rubio is going to find out what it's like to be a mutant Chia."

      Franz looked at Auryn in utter disbelief for a moment. "I don't give a Mynci's tail what happens to him. Rubio, I warned you about being discreet. You're on your own." With that the Shadow Gelert ran off towards the local woods, not bothering to take the cages full of petpets or the bag of neopoints with him.

      Rubio squirmed. "Auryn get off me! I can explain."

      "You don't need to. You've been stealing petpets from innocent owners and selling them to Franz, aren't you? That explains why he had wanted to talk to you at dinner the other night - it wasn't about gambling, was it?"

      Rubio snorted in disbelief. "You're right, it wasn't. It was about that stupid white Meowclops. Look, I can explain though. It's not what you think."

      "Oh just shut up. Every word that's ever come out of your mouth has been a lie." Auryn held the potion directly over Rubio's head. "I don't know if these things work on people, but right now I would be careful about what you say if I were you unless you want to find out."

      Rubio gritted his teeth. "Fine, fine. You're right, I have been stealing petpets during the night. One night I had gone back home to get something to eat after I had captured a few of them and that stupid Meowclops had chewed its way through its cage bars. I didn't know what to do; I couldn't chase after it and risk waking anyone up, so I forgot about it and delivered the others to Franz."

      "And the private bank account? Ah, wait, I know," Auryn said, smirking. "That was for depositing the neopoints Franz had paid you. If you had used the shared account I would have wondered why we suddenly had millions of neopoints. You dirty Warf, you didn't even have the decency to buy good meals for us!"

      Rubio laughed manically and Auryn fought the urge to silence him. "So what does Sloth want the petpets for anyway? I assume that's who Franz is now working for."

      "Who knows? There's no reason to ask and probably not a good idea to anyway. Probably experimenting on some new transmogrification potions or something. He pays well and that's all I care about."

      Auryn was appalled. "I can't believe you would take petpets away from young Neopets and then sell them to Sloth just so you could get some quick dough. Sure, there are some things that I can look past, but this… this is unacceptable. You're not the person I thought you were."

      "Auryn, look out! Behind you!"

      Auryn swiveled around just in time to avoid getting hit by a vial thrown at him. Missing its target, the vial instead exploded on Rubio, releasing a foul smelling liquid on him. Auryn had to back away to avoid fainting.

      Many things happened in quick succession. Franz yelled out, "Blast, the knock-out potion!" a ray from a stun gun hit him squarely in the chest, and a certain Scorchio, dressed in a police uniform, appeared from out of the darkness with two Chia officers at his side.

      "Ha! I knew you'd come here tonight. Good for you boy," Patches said proudly to Auryn, his voice devoid of the usual pirate accent.

      Auryn wouldn't have been surprised if the bottom his mouth had hit the ground. Finally he managed to exclaim, "I knew there was something strange about you!"


          Back at the police station, Franz and Rubio were waking up behind bars, the petpets were being found their owners, and Patches (whose name was really Orlando) was explaining everything to the confused Royalboy Zafara.

      "About a month ago the police had gotten word about a petpet thief whose description matched that of your owner. We didn't have any solid evidence though, so they sent an agent - that's me - to go undercover and find something concrete. I posed as a traveling pirate, hoping to convince Rubio to adopt me temporarily as a pet. He fell for the bait hook, line, and sinker. You all did, really. I was surprised myself how well I pulled it off considering everyone at the office thought my accent sounded a bit fake."

      He continued to explain, "I'm sorry I had to give you such a difficult time. I had to convince Rubio that I was really a pirate, and I couldn't let you in on my act in case you were involved somehow. Earlier today - well, I suppose it was yesterday now - the 'pirate friends' that came over were my co-workers that came over to discuss any evidence I'd found, which up to that point wasn't much. I had been spying on your conversations and had found that Rubio was selling petpets to Franz, but nothing to indicate that the petpets were stolen."

      "I overheard the bit about Rubio's private account, which he would have had a hard time explaining about considering the sheer amount of neopoints he had in there, but what really helped was finding that Meowclops with the note attached, which I have you to thank for. I pulled a stake-out by the hotdog stand, and had planned on interfering when Franz left, but you had gotten Rubio to confess to the crime so we waited and had an agent record the conversation on paper, which you can verify in court."

     Orlando continued, "I hope you know what you pulled was risky. Anybody who took Chemistry 101 would know transmogrification potions don't work on people."

     Auryn nodded. "I know. Even if they did I could never do that to my owner, even if he is a criminal. I just wanted him to think that I would have so he'd take me seriously."

     At this point it was about four in the morning and Auryn could feel the Achyfi finally wearing off. He yawned and said, "So, do you think it would be okay if I called it a night?"

     Orlando nodded. "Sure. You'll have to sleep here though, your house is being investigated for further evidence. Oh, also, all of your monetary assets have been frozen, but since you're innocent of the crime it will all go to you, even the neopoints in the private account since Rubio transferred your income into his account. Just to let you know, there's about four million in there." Orlando smiled at Auryn's look of surprise.

     After overcoming the initial shock of the idea of four million neopoints, Auryn remembered how they were obtained and felt a pit form in his stomach, thinking of the young Ixi he had met in the street. "I don't want it. It makes me sick to know how they were obtained, and I don't know what I'd do with them anyway."

     Orlando shook his head. "Well, they're yours whether you like it or not."

     Auryn stamped his foot down, upset. "Then donate them to the Neopets who can't get their petpets back. Or to the police department to help with the Sloth resistance. I don't care, I just don't want them."

     Orlando smiled. "I should have expected that from you. You'll have to sign a few papers, but if that's what you want…" Auryn nodded.

     They were in the same room as the cell holding Franz and Rubio, and at this time Franz groaned and opened his eyes groggily. Realizing where he was, he called out to Auryn, "Hey, come on, you wouldn't really convict your own brother, would you?"

     Auryn walked over to the cell. Ignoring his plea, he looked at Franz with a mixture of disappointment and disgust. Finally he said, "When I was young I always thought you were so perfect and mature. I always wanted to be like you, but for once I'm glad I'm not." With this statement Franz looked up at Auryn, still too tired to fully comprehend what he was saying, and went back to sleep.

To be continued...

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Other Episodes

» The White Meowclops: Part One
» The White Meowclops: Part Two
» The White Meowclops: Part Three
» The White Meowclops: Part Five

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