Lupe Pack Detectives-Copycat:Part Three
"Given your team name, I know that you’re used to seeing these types of occurrences back at your world. Still, I didn’t expect all of you to be surprised at the amount of Neopians using a disguise,” I told both the captain and the colonel as we were walking towards the Marketplace, home of the Soup Faerie.
“It’s not the amount disguised as respected figures, it’s the amount that were unwittingly caught by the type of magic used. It’s possible that we’re dealing with a mass brainwashing as it could explain the unusual eye colour, however, it’s not something we have seen before,” Colonel Seras replied with a hint of disgust.
“Believe us; we had to deal with brainwashing magic on occasion. In fact, we had to deal with my adopted daughter being brainwashed at one point. I’m telling you, it’s not easy breaking that hold as there are few countermeasures against it,” Captain Ocean added, slightly grimacing. I believed them despite the fact that I had known them for a few minutes.
We talked a bit more on our way just to past the time. It was interesting to hear that there were other members that were a part of the team but were busy with their work and were unable to come, but I also found it amusing that in some ways, we were very similar to the Abnormal Investigators as I had considered Nimbus, along with Audrey and Owen, as unofficial members.
By the time we arrived at the Soup Kitchen, we could see a long line of Neopians, which was typical given the amount. I simply shrugged my shoulders towards my two partners as we got into the line and waited. This was something that I was used to during my occasion trips here for someone with a Faerie Quest back when I was working at the Help Centre. We did not have to wait that long before our turn arrived as the Soup Faerie had various assistants helping her.
“Oh dear! You have a decent amount of Neopoints! Only those with 3000 NP or less can get handouts at the Soup Kitchen,” one the assistants said to us, but we were not looking for one anyways. Instead, I showed her my DoN badge, forcing the assistant to apologize about the misunderstanding.
“If you’re here to see Gemma, I’ll let her know,” she replied before she left. Soon after, she came back with the official Soup Faerie. We went to a quiet place outside the kitchen as this was something that was needed to be discussed in private. Of course, introductions were in order first, telling Gemma that Captain Ocean and Colonel Seras were new DoN members, which in a sense, was true.
“Gemma, have you noticed anything unusual within the past month or so? Even if it’s minor, it may help us.” I told her. As expected, she wanted to know why I was asking her even if she was not on the defensive.
“You may have heard about the public faces of the DoN being accused for crimes they did not commit. Well, recently, at Headquarters, the remaining DoN members were attacked by Neopians disguised as Faeries like you. We have reason to believe that this same group are committing crimes under the names of Neopians protecting us for reasons unknown at this point.”
“Other than the usual scuffles breaking out over the last bowl of soup, nothing stands out, Blizzard. Actually, scratch that. I wouldn’t call it unusual, but there has been a small group of Neopians handing out pamphlets while protesting that the DoN’s actions. What’s in them, I have no clue. I just ignore them as they’re just a minor nuisance and they’re not breaking any rules.”
When the colonel asked the Soup Faerie how often this unknown group have been stopping by the kitchen, she replied that they had been here around mid-afternoon on a daily basis for the past month. Immediately, I knew something was up as it did match what I had just asked. It also meant that my theory seemed to be on the right track, but until we got our hands on that pamphlet or saw the protesters with our own eyes, there was no way of knowing.
Before we left the kitchen, we noticed a fairly large group gathering. They did not appear to be coming to get some soup, so I assumed that these were the protesters Gemma had mentioned. One look at her face definitely confirmed it as she seemed rather annoyed by their appearance. I could not blame her, as she had seen them on a daily presence.
After Gemma left to help out in the kitchen, we decided to watch for afar to see how things would play out, although Captain Ocean did send out a clone of herself and her colleague to the line to closely observe, explaining how a couple of members from the team were in two places at once. Even though we were observing from afar and up close, I wondered if it was possible for us to get a physical copy of the pamphlet, however, I had my doubts.
For the most part it was a peaceful demonstration, so I could see why the Soup Faerie opted not to inform the DoN about the group as they were not doing anything wrong. It was not until the group brought out a large paper statue of Judge Hog and burned it in protest that I felt that their actions crossed the line. That unprovoked action also made me wonder if these Neopians were also part of the same group that attacked us.
I was not the only one upset as I could see the Soup Faerie run out in order to confront the group. It looked as if things were about to get ugly. Gemma was going to need some backup as she had limited magical powers, as far as I knew.
As soon as one of the protesters began firing up a spell and began aiming towards the Soup Faerie while she had her back turned towards him, I rushed in and jabbed the protester right in the stomach, interrupting the spell while at the same time, taking the wind out of his sails. Ultimately, that made me a target, but I did not care as long as the Soup Faerie was safe.
As I turned around to face another protester, I could see one, a Purple Bruce, scowling before making a beeline towards me. A few seconds later, she transformed into a reasonable impersonation of a Dark Faerie, except with those yellow eyes, confirming my suspicions right there. There was no way for me to stop her barrelling into me as she had come at me so quickly I had no time to react. Eventually, I was pinned to the nearest tree as she conjured up a fireball and prepared to blast me at point blank range.
“If I take you out, Blizzard, then I’ll be promoted. Maybe your siblings will be my next targets when I am,” she loudly told me as I quickly muttered a spell to ensnare her, thus trapping her in place.
“Not if you’re taken out at the same time that I am,” I calmly told her after muttering the spell. At that point, she realized what I did as she struggled to break free, without any luck as I had left her in a position that would have resulted in her being defeated either way.
Seeing as she had no other choice, she stopped the spell she was about to fire and removed the binds holding here in place, only to find herself knocked out cold with a swift blow to the head, courtesy of my staff. Although the Bruce was taken out, I was not quite out of the woods just yet as there were still protesters left to take care of, some of them heading my way after seeing what had happened.
While I continued parrying blows and defending, I felt this surge of energy that I had never felt before. However, I was unable to control this surge, so I ended up creating a freak snowstorm on everyone within the vicinity. By the time the last of this unknown energy left me, I was left severely drained as I struggled to stand up.
“What... in Fyora’s good name... just happened?” I asked myself before I collapsed from exhaustion. Of course, I did not have the answer.
It was a few hours later when I finally woke up and found myself back at the Cursed Warehouse, surrounded by my family, friends and fellow colleagues, all worried about me. There was no need for me to ask why I was here as I knew someone, possibly Seras or Ocean, brought me back here. Even though I was awake, I had to take it slowly for the time being.
“Captain Ocean told me about what had happened. I wish I could have been there to witness it and hopefully get some useful information from those Neopians,” Forest told me as he gave me a pat on the back. I nodded, although I still wondered what happened.
When the Abnormal Investigators entered the vicinity, most of them got the hint and decided to leave us alone. Only my family and the Bookworms, remained, so I knew it was a private meeting of sorts.
“Blizzard, as far as I know, or at least where I’m from, that snowstorm that you conjured up could only be known by a couple of Neopians. That would be my mother, and yours truly,” Mana said. “That’s not a spell you could have easily learned, let alone creating one without incantation, so how did you create it, given your experience?”
“To tell you the truth, I’m not sure what happened. All I know is that as I continued fighting, I felt this energy build up within me. Next thing you know, it was released in an instant, leaving me exhausted. I’ve never had that happen to me before.”
“Prior to that, did you happen to use any spells?” I nodded as I told Captain Seras about the binding spell, wondering what she knew about it.
“I see, and it makes sense now. You must have accumulated quite a bit of magic energy without using it, thus leading to the explosion shortly after you used a spell. It’s uncommon, but it’s nothing serious to worry about. On the other hand, this is the first time I’ve seen this type of magic explosion cover a large area.” She began thinking before turning her attention towards her colleagues, more specifically, Ocean and Katrina, and asking them a question for clarification.
“After she regained her magic abilities, Ocean did not suffer any release of magic like the one Blizzard described. Then again, I did lose the majority of my magic abilities, so I wouldn’t know for certain,” Katrina replied. I did not expect Major Katrina to be knowledgeable in magic, given the fact that I had seen her fighting earlier with just her bare paws and a couple of Battle Faerie Daggers.
“That’s true, but you have a point, big sister. It’s likely that when my past self was sealed away, my magic abilities were as well, unintentionally of course. Once that seal was removed, my mind must have assumed that everything was normal, despite using a spell shortly after,” Ocean said. Seras digested the information before replying that she would need to look into the matter a little further.
“So, what you’re saying is that if we use it once in a while, we wouldn’t run into this problem. If that’s the case, what’s the best magic to use so this doesn’t occur?” my younger sister, Aura the Starry Lupe, inquired.
“It depends on your preference, but healing is one of the easiest, for various reasons. Even using it passively would reduce the likelihood of it from happening,” Mana replied.
Several minutes later, the remaining groups returned from their investigation and/or inquiry. Although I was weakened, I used my Jade Staff to prop myself up as I had a report to make. The information that we had gathered was going to help.
It was not surprising to hear from Nimbus that the Order denied any involvement, but had admitted that they may have had some loose cannons or rogue members among their ranks. It actually made sense that the Order denied any involvement as they did not want to be associated with those members and dirty their good name. However, nearly all of the groups reported being attacked, with some of them reported a bounty from their attackers, which was troubling. The lone exception was my cousin.
While I talked about the information we had found at the Soup Kitchen, Captain Ocean handed Forest a pamphlet. I guess she was able to retrieve one from one of the protesters after the freak snowstorm I had created. Forest duly noted it. I also mentioned the skirmish, but deliberately left out some details for various reasons. When everyone was finished, Forest quickly reviewed the pamphlet.
“According to what I’ve read, it claims that the public faces and front line workers, as well as the faeries, do not do enough to help those that are in need instead of sitting on the sidelines. Essentially, they want it disbanded or a change in leadership in order to address the ‘problem’.”
“That definitely explains why the public faces were targeted and probably the so-called ‘bounties’ on us. Of course, if they had done their research carefully, they would have known that the various detective agencies are freelancers affiliated with the DoN , meaning that there’s actually fewer front line staff than what these people claim. Looks like we have their motive, albeit a flimsy one at best because right now, the DoN’s in utter chaos thanks to their actions,” Terra replied. I nodded in agreement, although inside, I groaned as it meant that my theory had been right after all.
“So it looks like we really have to be careful now. And we still don’t know who’s responsible for this, but we’ll figure it out in due time. Other than that, you’re dismissed for the day. Rest up.”
Before we left the Cursed Warehouse, it was decided that the top investigative teams, such as us, along with rising stars Owen and Audrey, would take a member of the Abnormal Investigators for some extra power just in case we were attacked by the group again. We ended up taking Captain Ocean.
To be continued…