Lupe Pack Detectives-Copycat:Part Seven
It had been dubbed by the Neopian public as the ‘Decision of the Year’; as this was the first time, or at least from what I could remember, that Judge Hog would formally announce his decision and punishment on Ebenezer to the Neopian public after informing us first. I was surprised at his decision, but considering how many unwitting parties had been involved over the years, it sort of made some sense to me.
Initially, I was afraid that Judge Hog would bring the Blue Yurble up to stage when he made his announcement, but he reassured us prior to the decision date that this was not going to happen. After all, those unwitting parties probably held a grudge against Ebenezer, and based on the mood of the public, were more than likely to humiliate him even further as some had suggested pelting him with rocks, rotten fruits and vegetables should he be brought out to face the crowd. As a result, Judge Hog was fully aware of the sentiment.
I sat outside Judge Hog’s office with the rest of the crew, waiting, due to the backlog of more simple cases that had piled up during his self-imposed exile. It was probably the longest wait of my investigative career.
As we sat there waiting, two familiar faeries came up: the Faerie Queen Fyora and Mira the Space Faerie. It was rare for them to visit Neopia Central, let alone the Defenders headquarters, but considering that the various Faeries were also affected by Ebenezer’s misdemeanors, it made sense that they would be here to personally witness his decision.
“I know the good judge hasn’t made his decision yet, but on behalf of all the Faeries, both Mira and I would like to thank everyone here to help stop the madman. You truly are one of a kind, taking a powerful Neopian like him down,” Fyora told us before she took a seat.
“We were just doing our jobs, your majesty, nothing out of the ordinary. Although I hate to bring up some bad memories for you, it’s no different from defending Brightvale from the wraiths before Xandra sent Faerieland plummeting into the ground with the spell of hers,” Shade replied.
“It’s funny that you mention Xandra as we think she may have influenced the Yurble with her ideology somehow. It could explain his rationale and it does make sense.”
It was approximately an hour and a half later before Judge Hog came out of his office, taking a brief break from his work. When he spotted us, he told us to head into the room as he was nearly ready with his decision.
We had to wait a few more minutes as Judge Hog personally went down to the dungeons to retrieve Ebenezer as barely anyone wanted to bring him up, for various reasons. As soon as he did, we were ready to hear.
“Ebenezer, don’t try anything funny. It will not end well for you,” Judge Hog told the Yurble before he started with his decision. Ebenezer remained silent.
“Right then, let’s get started. It’s been a while since this designation was placed on any Neopian, but I feel that it is appropriate, given the circumstances and your actions. I shall consider you a ‘Danger to Neopia’.”
“Me, a ‘Danger to Neopia’? Do you have any idea that what I was doing was for the greater good for Neopia, seeing as you, the PPL and the Faeries were completely incompetent in your duties to the general public? You’re no better than the Chia Police,” Ebenezer ranted. At that point, someone silenced him without saying a word, thus stopping him from speaking any further.
I looked towards the Abnormal Investigators to see if they were ones that placed the spell. All of them shook their heads.
“I wish he had waited until after I was finished giving out my reasoning and sentence, but it probably wouldn’t have made that much of a difference, given his personality. However, I do want to thank you, Forest, for putting an end to his ‘rationale’ thinking before he got any further,” Judge Hog said. Forest just simply nodded his head. I guess that Forest was used to the shenanigans, having been involved in several of the cases.
“As I was about to say before I was interrupted, it’s that thought process that worries me the most as I fear it may be used to influence other Neopians to start countless of bloodless coups on their own, if it hasn’t already happened. There’s also the fact that you’ve attacked numerous Neopians over the years just because they did not share the same opinion as you. With those two combinations in mind, I have no choice but to declare you a ‘Danger to Neopia’. I will also send you up the Virtupets Space Station, not just for your safety, but to everyone living in Neopia, despite you being a ‘first-time’ offender with the DoN. Sending you up to the Virtupets Space Station makes it less likely for you to escape and continue your toxic influence on the Neopian public.”
Overall, I was satisfied with the decision, and I could sense it in nearly everyone else. Before leaving his station and bringing Ebenezer to places unknown, possibly the dungeons, Judge Hog told us to take our seats in the front lobby, but he also wanted to talk to Fyora and Mira in private before the briefing. We nodded and left for the lobby.
As we took our seats, I could see the lobby jam packed with Neopians, along with Neopian Times reporters and Virtupets Space Station crew waiting to broadcast the news. After all, this was a once in a lifetime event that was about to occur. There was some murmuring, but it was likely that they knew why we were here. The exceptions were the Abnormal Investigators as they were relative unknowns.
Moments later, Judge Hog entered the lobby, causing a wave of silence to occur. It seemed like the public knew the seriousness of what was about to happen, but Judge Hog also had near universal respect, contrary to what Ebenezer had said.
“To the Neopian public, before we begin, I, on behalf of the Defenders of Neopia in general, would like to personally thank the Neopians sitting behind me for ending a reign of terror and to allow us, the public faces, to return to our duties. Please, give them a round of applause.” At that point, the crowd roared their approval as we stood up. It was not something that I was used to, basking in the glory, but I took it in stride.
“As you all know, Ebenezer the Blue Yurble terrorized Neopia for a long time. As a result of his actions and his past, I have deemed him to be a ‘Danger to Neopia’. To prevent any further humiliation from the public, he has already been sent to the Virtupets Space Station. I know you are disappointed, however, this was not a decision that I made lightly,” he told the crowd once it became silent again. I could sense the wave of disappointment, but I knew that Judge Hog made the right call, even if it was a bit of a lie.
When the announcement was over, most of the public left. Only the reporters and camera crew remained as they wanted to interview us. Again, it was not something I was used to, being thrust into the spotlight despite the fact that I had worked in the Help Centre in the past. While I was answering questions with the family, I could see out of the corner of my eye the Abnormal Investigators being confident as they answered the questions being thrown at them.
After the interviews were over, I was exhausted mentally. Surprisingly, despite their experiences with the public, especially with Solar Flare and Opren, my siblings were also drained. Even Nimbus was tired as this was probably his first time being on the receiving end of an interview. Before we left the DoN, I decided that we would not be taking any walk-in visitors for the rest of the day as we needed to recover from this.
“Before you leave, can I talk to you and your team in my office?” Judge Hog asked us. I wondered what it was about, so I thought it was best to listen to what he had to say. The rest of the team that had participated in the Grand Forest Manor, including Forest, were already there when we arrived.
“Earlier, you saw me talking to Queen Fyora and Mira about something. Both of them have given their blessings to reform our secret special operations team, and everyone in this room is a member, including the Abnormal Investigators.”
“Judge Hog, you’re not referring to the Mira Squad, by any chance?” Forest inquired. Judge Hog nodded before he asked Forest how he knew when it was supposed to be a secret team.
“When I was reinstated as Shade’s superior, I explored my new office and stumbled across some reports from them detailing what they did. Cayenne the Fire Kyrii never noticed them during his tenure as they were carefully hidden away in my office by …” he said before I interrupted him.
“…the previous team leader, who happens to be our mother, Annabella. She did tell us that she had been hired by the DoN to run and lead this secret team, but didn’t go into that many details. She told us a couple of weeks after she reported Ebenezer’s attack to the Chia Police.”
“In that case, since both of you are somewhat aware of its existence, why don’t I make Forest the administrative leader and Blizzard the field leader. That way, if anything occurs that would incapacitate either of you; we’ll still be able to keep it running, unlike what happened with Annabella’s untimely demise.” I was okay with the decision to split the duties up.
I never thought that I would be following in my mother’s footsteps, but I knew that she would be proud of the entire family for indirectly continuing where she had left off. This was the start of a new beginning.