Janet and Jane: The Case of the Faked Test Scores: Part Five
”Do you really think showing the administration this will revoke James' expulsion?” Erica asked, trying to keep up with my fast pace.
“With your side of the story, I think we have a good chance at that,” I answered. “Now where's the exit in this building? The administration isn't in this one.”
“Well we need to get to the ground floor, first.”
“And where are the stairs?”
“Actually not that far. See? Here they are.”
The royal Zafara pointed to a set of doors. A sign with the words, “Stairwell” written on it was above the doors. I opened the door and we went in. Sheesh, there were a ton of stairs. I remembered being on the second or third floor before I was knocked out.
“What floor are we on?” I asked as I walked down the first flight of stairs.
Erica thought as she walked. She answered with, “I remember us being on the third floor before Dean Green knocked you out. I think he and I went up three or four floors after that.”
“Why would he do that?”
“I don't know. I think it was so you would have a harder time getting out of the building if you escaped.”
In a way, that made sense. Dean Green was clearly keen on making sure I didn't spread the word. That made me wonder how many Neopets knew what he was up to. Erica didn't even know the whole story. Maybe she wasn't the first Neopet to find out. What on Neopia would he do to those who might spill what he was hiding?
Something told me that Dean Green had the intent of answering that question of mine.
Erica and I went from a relaxed walk to a sprint down the stairs. I just knew that Dean Green wouldn't walk but fly down the stairwell. That made me nervous. Even though I could run really fast, I was still at a disadvantage to flying Neopets.
I actually tumbled down the last flight of stairs. Erica, instead of running out of the stairwell like I thought she would, helped me up. We could hear Dean Green close in. Before he could get to us, though, Erica and I got out of the stairwell.
The doors began to open just as we shut them. Erica and I held the doors shut, keeping Dean Green in. His shouts through the door were echoing through the entire lobby. It was empty, so nobody would ask questions or help us out.
“Where's something that we can block these doors with?” I asked, putting all my weight on the door.
“Nothing that we can get to without us leaving the door,” Erica answered.
I thought for a minute. I didn't know if I could outrun Dean Green. Last time, I was able to get a good distance away from him before I was out cold from that Slumberberry Potion of his. There was a good chance that he was going to use that on us if he had a chance. Even then, I didn't know about Erica.
“We should just break for it,” I said suddenly.
“What? Are you crazy?” Erica snapped.
“Hear me out, why don't you?” I sighed heavily. “We can split up. There's no way he can chase us both.”
The Zafara thought about that for a bit. “Alright. On the count of three?”
We both took in a breath together and said, “One... Two... Three!”
Erica and I ran off in opposite directions. The doors flew open and Dean Green stomped out. I could feel the anger coming from him. Something told me I didn't want to be the one he took the anger out on.
Either Dean Green didn't notice me or he decided to go after Erica first. He ran right after her. Erica was fast – much faster than I thought she was. I hoped she would be okay. If she wasn't...
I decided to stop thinking and to get out of the building. It didn't take long to find the exit. Finally, something was going right today. Now the admissions building was close by. If I recalled correctly, it was the biggest building on campus. I could easily see it from here. It wasn't that far of a run.
I jumped. I thought it was Dean Green for a second. It was just Geode. He and Epsilon rushed to catch up with me. Once I realized it was them, I slowed down so they could catch up.
“Janet, I never knew you were so fast,” Epsilon said in between pants.
“Where were you? James, Jane, and Natia have been looking for you all day!” Geode exclaimed. That didn't surprise me.
“That's sort of a long story,” I answered. I began to walk again, keeping a very fast pace. “Long story short, things haven't been going well for me. I'll explain when I get to the admissions building.”
Geode clamped a hand onto my shoulder to stop me. “At least wait for us, alright?”
Alright. If they wanted to tag along, then fine. I walked slower so the two could keep up. The walk to the admissions building was quiet. Even our footsteps didn't make much of a noise. The sound of a Whoot call made all three of us jump.
Epsilon had to run to keep up with me. Sheesh, that was a slow Kacheek. Geode was begging me to slow down, but I didn't have the time. It was one in the morning on Thursday. I recalled that James said that graduation was on Friday, a.k.a. tomorrow.
I turned around. Erica was running up to me. Whew, I was worried about her.
“Erica, nice to see you could make it,” I said. That sounded a bit rude, but oh well. “I'm heading to admissions to present the evidence.”
“Janet, I'm having second thoughts,” Erica argued. The royal Zafara finally caught her breath. “What if Dean Green–”
“He won't do anything bad. Trust me.”
Without another word, I went right to the admissions office. I didn't bother to wait for the others. I had no time. This was time-sensitive. If I didn't do this today, then all of this could be for nothing.
Turned out James had a similar thought.
As I entered the admissions office, I saw him pleading his case He was saying, “I wrote about the history of abstract art, not the artists of the time period.” to the Neopet behind the desk.
The Neopet behind the desk wouldn't listen to him. The brown Kau said, “James, I don't think it was you, but there is no evidence proving your case.”
Time for me to join in. I walked in the room and said, “But there is.”
James turned to me. “Janet, where on Neopia have you been? I've been looking for you.”
“I've been busy.” I placed the sheet of paper on the desk the Kau was behind. “This hand-written letter was written by Dean Green. It admits that he wanted James expelled.”
The purple Bori was shocked at the sound of that sentence. “Hold on, he wanted me expelled? Why?”
The Kau read over the letter. “It says that you were getting too close to your superiors letting you work with them for your internship.” He looked up at me. “While this is some evidence, it isn't enough to prove your case.”
Oh where was Erica? I needed her here, too. I looked outside of the room to see the three Neopets grouped by the door. Either they wanted to know what we were talking about or they were waiting for me to come back out so I could explain a little bit more.
“Erica,” I said to the Zafara. “I need your side of the story.”
Erica nervously looked around. I thought she was going to argue (because I knew she wasn't so happy about being part of this), but she actually complied. I let her in and left so she could say what she had to say in peace.
While Erica was explaining everything to James, I explained what I went through to Epsilon and Geode. Let's just say that they didn't take it well. That make sense in hindsight. Their dean was plotting something that involved expelling James. Of course that would cause some reactions.
“There is no way that Dean Green did that,” Geode denied.
“I'm being one hundred percent serious,” I argued. “Again, ask Erica when she's done in there. She'll vouch for me.” As if on cue, the door opened. James and Erica exited the room. “Alright, guys. How'd it go?”
“It isn't done just yet, but the secretary said that the administration would look over this,” James answered. “Though this is enough to revoke my expulsion.”
I instantly smiled. “So you're going to graduate?”
The purple Bori shook his head. “No, not exactly. I have to take my tests again. If I pass, then I graduate.”
I nodded. “When are you taking them.”
“In the morning.” James yawned. “I need to get some sleep if I want to pass my tests. Janet, you, Jane, and Natia should go back to Neopia Central. I'll meet with you after I find out my scores.”
“Dean Green really knocked you out with a Slumberberry Potion?” Jane asked as she was hanging up the banner again.
“And locked me in a room to prevent me from telling anyone what I found out,” I added. I tied strings to the mylar balloons. “Oh yeah, that reminds me.” I went through my bag and grabbed the journal I took. “This was Dean Green's, but I took it. It has some seriously dangerous experiments in it.”
Jane took the journal and went through the first few pages. The Korbat commented, “Caustic Potion and Fire Jug? That's lethal.”
“That's what I thought.”
“Maybe he was writing them down as a warning?” Natia suggested in a higher tone. Oh boy, she was messing with the helium again.
“No, I don't think that's the case,” I argued. “What do you think, Jane?”
She nodded in agreement. “And you mentioned something about a letter to a Neopet named Evodon. I don't think Dean Green is the only one who knows about this.” Jane put the book back in my bag. “Let's not wonder about it now. We've had enough excitement in the last few days.”
The door to the discussion room opened. James entered with a sort of monotone expression on his face. Epsilon, Geode, and Erica came in, too. Alright, I wasn't so happy about them being here (this place was supposed to be a secret), but I didn't comment on it.
“This place is amazing,” Epsilon squeaked. He was in awe of the surroundings.
“So how'd the tests go?” Jane asked.
James shifted uneasily. I had a bad feeling about that. He said, “Let's just say I'm graduating this year.”
The mood of the entire room instantly brightened. Even James' friends were happily surprised. Something told me they didn't know if James was graduating until now.
“Oh, this is so exciting!” Natia cheered. The alien Aisha hopped up and down. “James, you're going to be a detective!”
“When I find a job, of course,” he informed. He rubbed the back of his neck.
Jane looked over at me and winked. I knew what that meant. “James, there's something we would like to tell you,” I said.
James tilted his head. “What would that be?”
I looked at Jane and Natia, then back at James. “We've been talking about this for a while and we all agree.” I paused for a second. “We would love it if you worked here at Janet and Jane Detective Agency as a career.”
You should have seen the look on his face when I said that. It was a mix of shock and joy. Huh, Natia won the bet on how he would react. Jane said he would be just surprised and then happy and I thought he'd be in disbelief.
“You're serious about this?” Erica commented.
“Like I said, we've been talking about it a while now,” I informed. I looked back at James. “So what do you say?”
“What do I say?” he asked. “Why do you want me to work with you guys?”
“You're a very nice Neopet to work with,” Jane answered. “Like you enjoyed working with us, we like working with you.”
“Not to mention your first name begins with the letter J,” Natia added. Her voice sounded even higher. “You'll fit right in!”
James thought about it for a minute or two. During this silence, I tried to convince Natia to stop playing with the helium. Geode, Epsilon, and Erica carried their own conversation. Jane just continued to straighten the banner.
“You know what?” James suddenly said. Only I heard what he said. I turned my attention back to him. “I'll do it. I'll work here full time.”
“I knew you'd say yes,” I commented. “Believe it or not, but it was my idea.”
“Hmm, it was?” James crossed his arms. “To think, you were the one who didn't want me around at first.”
I smiled a little. “What can I say? Working with you wasn't nearly as bad as I anticipated.” I even laughed a little. “Nice to have you working with us now, James.”