Lupe Pack Detectives-Copycat:Part Four
I had been disconnected from my family for roughly a week or so, so it felt good to be reunited with them as we headed back to our Neohome even though it was not the longest time that I had been away from them. On our way back, I could see my younger sister occasionally scanning the area as she kept her paw on her pouch containing her Scarab Stone Slingshot, ready to strike back if necessary.
As soon as we arrived home, I immediately ordered the team to prep the Neohome for a possible battle even though there were no guarantees that it would happen, however, I was not about to take that chance. Once the order was given out, they headed off in various directions, taking things out and moving various pieces of furniture around.
“So, does your family have a pre-determined location that they go to when the battle begins, if it happens?”
“Only my younger sister does, Captain, due to her weapon preference, namely long ranged weapons like bows and arrows. The rest of my family will move around to fill in the gaps, so you’re free to choose where you want to go. I’m not going to force you into a position.”
“Hmm, in that case, I’ll stick to the front entrance for the time being, but it wouldn’t hurt to add some extra firepower upstairs to assist your sister with one of my clones. If push comes to shove, I’ll bring out my sword,” she replied. That left me surprised as I had not expected her to be a physical fighter.
When night fell, Nimbus helped me prepare dinner and some snacks as we had an advanced warning system in the form of Aura, so there was nothing much to worry about. Once I was finished, I took a couple of plates and took a seat beside Ocean.
“I get the feeling that you and I are more alike than we would expect. I just cannot explain it,” she told me as I sat down.
“Perhaps it’s because you can sense a part of you on me and it’s not just our abilities. In a way, we’re like spiritual twins.”
As we ate, we talked about various things. The hardest part for me was talking about my family’s past as it had been brought up before once, the Bookworms. As I began explaining what had happened to Ocean, I nearly broke down crying as I recalled the day we received news of our mother, a volunteer firefighter, was killed in the line of duty from a fire that had suddenly spiralled out of control.
“Yeah, that is hard to talk about, but maybe your theory about us being spiritual twins is not so farfetched after all. I can see traits of my teammates as well, but I definitely see a lot of me on you with our similar experiences.”
After we were finished, I took the empty plates back to the kitchen, but at the same time, I was carefully patrolling the perimeter for any signs of activity. As soon as I returned to my regular position in the living room, I began wondering what type of magic would best suit me well. I knew that healing was not something I would be comfortable with as I felt that it would waste my potential. Eventually, I decided that I had the time to figure it out, so I put it aside for the time being.
It was probably around ten-o-clock when someone tapped me on the shoulder. As I looked up, I saw that it was a perfect ice clone of me, created by Ocean. My clone quickly nodded without me even having to ask. Not wanting to leave my position and head to my room for a well-deserved rest, I instead used the couch as my bed.
Unfortunately, I did not get much rest as another tap woke me up. Like the previous time, it was my clone, only this time, she was rapidly tapping me awake. I quickly checked the nearest clock and saw that it was just past midnight before grabbing a Virtupets walkie-talkie in order to determine what the situation was. As soon as I was up, my clone disappeared.
“Both Ocean and I have confirmed that there are two small groups are coming from different directions. From the looks of it, we have a classic two-pronged attack. We’ll keep an eye on them for now,” my sister told me.
“Okay, got it, but whatever we do and what the outcome is, don’t let your guard down. Based on recent events, there may be a few surprises up their sleeves. Be prepared for anything that they throw at us.”
Almost immediately, I could sense an unknown presence right behind me. I quickly went into action as I whirled around and swung my Jade Staff with all my might, putting our intruder out of commission. Just after I took that Neopian out, another appeared from out of nowhere, although I knew that a portal had been used to get inside.
Within minutes, we were swamped with illusions and real Neopians. That was pretty much my tipping point as I channelled some magic into my Jade Staff and slammed it onto the floor, chanting a spell. Soon after, the feet of our real enemies were trapped in ice as the illusions disappeared. Unfortunately, that victory was short lived as more appeared floating over the ice, forcing me to retreat to the front entrance and hallway as I needed to talk to Captain Ocean badly.
“Captain, got anything in your magic repertoire that can handle illusions? We’re at a severe disadvantage right now, even with your clone magic,” I loudly asked her as I jabbed a Neopian in the stomach, although it was just an illusion.
“Yeah, I do, but with the amount coming in, I can’t even fire off a dispel circle, let alone a barrier. I need some space, even if it’s a tiny amount.”
“I can provide you the space while you recite the spell; I’ll just have to borrow your powers for a second due to my inexperience. Will that work?”
“Sounds like a plan, Blizzard. Grab my hand, now!”
I did as I was told as I tapped my staff on the floor at the same time, although I did not hear her recite any words. At the same time, I felt another surge of magic, but unlike the last time, this felt different, almost as if I was gaining it. Soon after, the amount of Neopians quickly decreased, but it was enough for Ocean to silently put up a barrier around the Neohome. That quick move allowed the rest of my family to regroup and take a breather.
“There’s a couple of disguised Neopians, one as an Air Faerie, the other a Light one. I think it’s safe to say that they’re the commanders. Think we should question them, big sister?” Aura quietly told us. I silently nodded, knowing that they would provide valuable information, but I also did not want our plan to be ruined by anyone potentially eavesdropping.
It was quickly decided that Ocean and I would head out to disrupt the attack party and capture the Light and Air Faeries, respectively, while the rest remained behind to defend. I knew I had nothing to worry about as the Neohome was in good hands.
As I was about to approach the group and ambush them, I spotted a ‘fake’ Defender headed towards the group, forcing me up into the nearest tree to hide. As I tightly gripped my staff, I felt the similar surge of power that I had felt earlier during the battle outside the Soup Kitchen. Soon after, a blade of ice materialized at one end, but it also meant that my position had been given away as I found myself surrounded.
“Whoever you are up there in the tree, quietly surrender to us and we’ll make things easier for you,” one of the members called out.
“By easier, do you mean turning me into one of your slaves, just to attack an institution with a flimsy excuse? I don’t think so,” I replied before dropping down from the tree and planted my new created lance into the ground, causing an icy shockwave to appear and stun the lesser members. Only the Faerie and the Defender, Mammoth, remained unaffected.
I was definitely at a disadvantage, having to fend off attacks from two Neopians, although I did manage to land a couple of hits on both of them. Just when I was feeling the fatigue, the Light Faerie was struck from behind, giving me an opportunity to strike and knock her out cold.
Upon seeing the tide turned, ‘Mammoth’ attempted to flee, however, Ocean quickly skated over and caught up to him, pointing her snow white Sword of Domar with a blue gemstone in the pommel and a white ribbon tied to the hilt towards him and subsequently stopping him from continuing any further. She forced the Defender back towards our Neohome. On the way back, I picked up the unconscious Faerie.
Due to the presence of the magic barrier spell still surrounding our Neohome, ‘Mammoth’ and the Faerie, turned back into a Tyrannian Elephante and a Spotted Aisha, respectively. There was a third Neopian, a Cloud Kacheek, just outside Nimbus’s office, still unconscious, but under the watchful eyes of my family. Immediately after placing the Aisha beside the Kacheek, we turned our attention towards the Elephante.
When the Elephante tried to attack us, I quickly placed an end to it by jabbing him right in the stomach with my staff. A couple of taps from my staff and a couple of words pinned him to the ground in order to prevent him from moving.
“Don’t test our patience as none of us are in the mood,” I firmly told him.
“When word gets out to my boss on what you did to me and my allies, Blizzard, it’ll only increase the bounty on you and your siblings,” he mockingly told me.
“Really? How much of a bounty would it take for your boss to appear?” He remained silent, refusing to answer.
At that point, Nimbus motioned us to his office for a private meeting. Ocean opted to remain behind and keep a close eye on the Elephante just as a precautionary measure even though I had a gut feeling that those binds would hold. As we assembled into his office, I wondered what this meeting was about.
“The attacks on the various intelligence teams have been troubling me, seeing as I was the only one who was not attacked. I think I know why, thanks to the information that we’ve just received. I don’t think I was actively being monitored by this group, or at least, they’re not considering me a threat. If they were, they would have been aware that I have occasionally helped you out with your cases with my role as an investigative reporter for the Times. Whoever’s behind these attacks on the DoN just made a major mistake.”
“However, it also means that we have more questions to ask about those bounties. Maybe the information given to us will help us determine who’s calling the shots,” Aura added. I nodded in agreement.
When we came out of Nimbus’s office, Ocean came up to me and whispered into my ear what Nimbus had already confirmed to us. She also gave us more information, like the fact that the bounty increase was probably a bluff. I thanked her for the information even though we already knew.
Opren decided that he would lead the questioning. After several minutes, he eventually gave up as the Elephante continued to remain silent. He then pointed to me to take over. I decided to take a slightly different approach.
“Is your group mainly targeting the DoN because we don’t do much to those that are in need?” He glared at me before telling me that we already knew the answer. It was not what I was looking for, but it was a start.
“Then give us an example because right now, we’re clearly in the dark and you have the advantage.” He still refused to answer, but I was not finished with him.
“Based on the limited information that I have, it’s more than likely that your group also have attacks planned at some of my colleagues’ homes tonight. I’m pretty certain that once my colleagues have identified your commanders and captured them, they’ll be asking similar questions. As far as I know, they could be receiving answers already. You might as well give up as one way or another, someone will talk.”
“Ha, my friends won’t easily give in to you or your friends’ demands, not when we pledged an oath to support Mr. Ebenezer with his plan to destroy the DoN,” he roared. I definitely was not expecting that sort of response even though it was something I should have been used to, but nonetheless, I was satisfied.
“Well, that really didn’t answer the questions, but the information that you inadvertently spouted will be quite valuable to us,” I told him before using my staff to knock him out cold so that he wouldn’t make quite the commotion.
As everyone within the vicinity overheard the conversation, we had some work to do without me telling. Opren and Solar Flare went up to the bodies and began taking the down to the DoN dungeons, telling me that they would meet up with me at the DoN archives later. Ocean skated off to destinations unknown, possibly the ‘Cursed’ Warehouse, seeing as the information given was important. Nimbus headed off the Neopian Times to check the archives for a similar reason as Opren and Solar Flare. Aura thought about heading towards the Petpet Protection League first to check their archives, but decided to remain at our Neohome for the time being and check our records.
It was definitely nice to see that the tide had started to turn after all that frustration of not knowing who we were up against. Although it was too early to start an offensive strike, we were on the right path.
To be continued...