|The Acara raised her hand. "It was AAA, ma'am." She just smiled innocently and sat straight in her desk.
"And how did you know it was AAA?" asked the Nimmo.
"Who else goes into the electronics lab after hours?" She smoothed back her hair cutely.
Miss Penny frowned. "I suppose that's true..."
"You're kidding, right?" replied Aristotle A. Avinroo incredulously. "It CAN'T be me! I haven't tinkered with game controllers there for ages! I'm just going there for some peace and quiet while I hammer out this year's Daily Dare--"
"Well, with no other leads, I'm afraid I'm going to have to send you to the dean's office," the Nimmo said with a sigh.
AAA grumbled and stood up from his desk, his game controller slung over his shoulder. This wasn't fair, this wasn't right! He did NOT cause the explosion in the Electronics Lab -- he was too smart to do something so stupid!
The Blumaroo glared at his accuser, teacher's pet, "little miss perfect" -- Maryweather Woolsworth Tuffington III -- and clenched his fist. She had been out to get him since the day he entered Brightvale University to study Electrical Engineering and Game Design -- he was sure of it. Mary had gotten him in all sorts of trouble; he was certain she had found SOME way to frame him for this heinous explosive act.
He stormed off to the dean's office. He was ready to clear his name, give his side of the story, and hopefully unearth the real mystery of what he infamously dubbed the Electronics Lab Explosion...
Date: Mar 20th
He stomped down the empty hall muttering under his breath. It just wasn't fair! Granted, he USUALLY was the one to blame for shenanigans in the Electronics Lab, but this time he was completely innocent.
As he passed by row upon row of lockers, each locked up tight with their own secret code, he pondered his predicament. He had to vindicate himself...he just didn't know how. He needed evidence.
Nearing the end of the hall, he noticed one locker ajar. Not only was it ajar...it was glowing.
He reached to open it...
Date: Mar 21st
...but before he could touch it, a shout interrupted him.
“Hey, what are you doing?” the voice grated. Instinctively, he scowled. Maryweather.
“Aren’t you supposed to be in class, Tuffington?” he bit out.
“Aren’t you supposed to be in the Dean’s office?” she tossed back.
He glared at the locker in front of him. She was right, and he had no retort. She was worse than Abigail sometimes. At least Abigail was often clever enough not to interrupt him when he was doing something monumental. Well, sometimes clever enough.
“What do you want, Tuffington?” he growled.
“I just wanted to follow up and make sure you’d made it to the Dean all right,” Maryweather said sweetly.
“I’m fine. Go back to class,” AAA ground out, closing his eyes. He really could have done without this Acara.
“What…what is that?” she asked, and her tone of voice had changed.
Opening his eyes, AAA saw that the light from the locker had begun to pulse. Wrinkling his brow, he reached out and opened the locker; instead was a small device, periodically emitting flashes of glowing green light.
The Blumaroo stared at it, perplexed, but it was Maryweather’s gasp that gave him pause. “Oh no - AAA, put that down! That’s a….”
Date: Mar 21st
"Wait what?" AAA said puzzled. He quickly placed the device back where he had found it.
"This has to be what was used to cause the explosion in the electronics lab." Replied Maryweather. "So I guess it wasn't you."
"We have to turn in whoever did this." AAA replied confidently. "Let's look through the locker and find out who this stuff belongs to."
AAA and Mary started searching through the items and the papers in the locker.
Mary stopped suddenly and dropped a textbook that was in her hands. She let out a huge gasp.
AAA looked to see what Mary had found and noticed a name on the inside cover of the book that was on the floor. It read Chadrick Woolsworth Tuffington IV...
Date: Mar 22nd
..."Chadley?" she gasped upon recognizing her brother's name. "But why would Chadley cause an explosion?"
AAA clenched his fists and scowled. Mary might have been blindsided by the revelation, but to AAA it was the missing piece of the puzzle that had fallen into place. "To get me into trouble," he spat. "He did it knowing you don't like me and therefore that you would frame me!"
"No, no that can't be right. You... you were just trying to plant that in his locker and frame him!" Mary stammered, shaking her head, still staring at the textbook.
The Blumaroo rolled his eyes. "He's been sulking for years trying to get back at me for what happened after the Daily Dare he tried to run. It can't be a coincidence that he pulled this with this year's Daily Dare right around the corner. And if I know him, this isn't the only thing he's rigged up."
AAA grabbed Maryweather's paw and dragged her away from the locker. "Wh-what are you doing?" Mary demanded.
AAA whipped around to look at her. "Chadley is trying to use you to get me into trouble. Forgetting about me for the moment, are you really going to let him play you like a fiddle to keep his own dirty hands out of this?" he asked.
Mary paused for a moment and glanced between the explosive device, the book on the ground, and AAA. "I guess you're right," she said after a pause. "What's the plan?"
AAA grinned, for the revenge had already been starting to form in his head. "I'm glad you asked, Mary," he chuckled. "The first thing we'll need to do is..."
Date: Mar 22nd
...find the Dean, and get him here. It'll be too dangerous for us to move the explosive device."
"Right," Mary nodded.
"One of us will need to keep a lookout here, make sure no one touches the device. Can you help me with that?" AAA inquired.
"Okay," Mary agreed, and attesting to that, she stood right in front of the locker.
"Thanks, now I'll go to the Dean's office." With that, AAA eased into a light jog, not wanting to waste much time.
However, when he arrived at the location...
Date: Mar 23rd
…Miss Penny and the Dean were waiting for him.
“Aristotle A. Avinroo, where have you been? I was pulled out of class because the student I sent to the Dean no-showed!” the Nimmo said angrily.
AAA blinked. He hadn’t thought it had taken that long…but he did tend to lose track of time. He shook his head. “I’m sorry, but there’s -“ he began.
“No excuse for such behavior? I agree!” the Dean said, with a cold stare, “Do you have any idea how much the equipment in that lab cost?”
“No, but -“ he tried again.
“Really, when you were admitted to University, we knew you had potential for mischief, but you’re so bright! What a waste!” the Dean said, shaking his head.
“Sir, I didn’t-“ AAA said, irritation coloring his words.
“Don’t take that tone with me, Mr. Avinroo. As it is, you’re looking at expulsion,” the Dean said with a glower.
AAA’s jaw dropped. “Expulsion? But I - but - but -“ he sputtered, completely derailed. Expelled?! This could not be happening!
“Don’t you have anything to say for yourself, Aristotle? You’ve been such a good student!” Miss Penny implored.
“Yes! I need help!” he cried, the words spilling out without thought.
Miss Penny’s expression softened. “Let’s see what we can do. You’ve been a fine student so far -“ she started.
“No, you don’t understand! Maryweather and I found a bomb - we’re all in danger!” he blurted.
For a moment, there was stunned silence, and then the Dean jumped to her feet - given that she was a Tonu, the impact reverberated beneath everyone else’s feet, too. “Show us,” the Dean urged, and then muttered, “But there better be something there.”
AAA nodded and ran out the door, leading them to the locker he and Mary had found. But when he got there, Mary was gone…
Date: Mar 23rd
"Its in here," AAA said pointing to Chadley's locker.
The Dean opened the locker to reveal nothing inside. "This locker is empty, is this some kind of joke?"
"But.." stammered AAA, "it was here a few minutes ago."
"You are in a lot of trouble young man." Replied the Dean.
Before AAA got a chance to respond Mary came skipping up to them with a sly smile on her face. "Dean, come quick," she said. "I just found what I think is an explosive device in AAA's locker." Mary gave AAA a sideways glance and a sneaky smile.
"What?" Said the Dean, "AAA come with us to your locker, if anything is in there you are definitely being expelled."
"But," protested AAA.
"NOW!" Said the Dean.
When they got to AAA's locker the Dean grabbed the door and opened it to reveal...
Date: Mar 23rd