Fanged’s situation has stabilized somewhat since the incident as she called it. She had gotten a kennel set up which was endlessly safer than camping out in the mansion. Rusty and her had both gotten proper baths, though the set-up had been a hose and a basin. It wasn’t an ideal situation, but it would do for now. Rusty’s coat had developed a shine that Fanged hadn’t known it to possess. Her own skin remained rather dull and scarred, but there was little she could do to fix that.
“It’s rather difficult to leave you by yourself though,” she told the Lazaru halfbreed as he walked alongside her.
She rubbed self-consciously at one of the scars layered underneath the base of her top, right ear. The action ached, but it kept Fanged feeling grounded. She had been bold today, venturing out into the city to run some errands. She was careful, wearing an over-sized hoodie with the hood drawn up and a pair of sunglasses even though clouds covered the sky. This boldness took her straight to the quest board.
To her surprise, and inner delight, there was a person pinning a notice to the board. Intrigue prickled in her chest, leftover from days long ago. Once she had that itch, there was no turning back. She waited for the person to disappear, their suit indicated that they were of the upper echelon, and Fanged wasn’t exactly dressed to match. Rusty followed her loyally as she stepped over to read the board.
“A suspected animal thief, eh? Sounds like it’d be right up our ally. They promise a reward and I’m certainly hurting for cash right now. It could be a bad idea though. I know nothing on this situation, I could be walking into something dangerous. On the other hand, I’m really hurting for cash right now and a reward could go a long way.”
Rusty made it easier for her to talk things through. She felt hesitant, but accepting the quest felt like a calculated risk.
“I suppose you’ll need to come along. If we’re smart, it shouldn’t be dangerous, but you’re not entirely ready to be left by yourself just yet,” she told Rusty.
The Lazaru meeped in agreement, even if he didn’t understand what it was he was agreeing to. The address for the house was in an area she was somewhat familiar with. It had been a long time since she’d been there, but she was quick at figuring things out. She decided to head straight over. The sun was dipping in the sky and it would be night soon. The job would begin then, so it felt pointless to delay it any longer.
“I’ll need you to stay close to me. If things get dangerous, you run away,” she warned him.
She knew Rusty wouldn’t abandon her even if he wasn’t willing to fight. Asking him to leave her made Fanged feel less guilty bringing him along.
It didn’t take them long to reach the house. The house itself was distinguished. It had a feeling of regality, though it wasn’t quite as large as many other houses in the area. The yard was the true beauty of the property. It stretched for acres and was landscaped to perfection. The area made her feel out of place, but she assumed the owners wouldn’t be too taken aback by her presence. After all, she’s the person who decided to take on their quest. It didn’t seem like there were any other takers.
“Don’t destroy anything,” she whispered to Rusty as they approached the house.
The Lazaru meeped in response, his ears pricked forward as he took in the new area. A paved pathway led to the front door. It circled around a fountain that depicted some sort of a pocket pet. Fanged didn’t have all that much familiarity with pocket pets. She didn’t dare try to identify it.
She steadied herself as she approached the front door. She tried to compose herself in a professional manner. Her clothes may not be detective material, but she didn’t let them speak for her. Rusty leaned obediently against her legs as she rang the doorbell. It took a few minutes before anyone opened the door.
“Stay close,” she murmured to Rusty.
The Lazaru meeped, his fur bristling slightly as the noises of tiny creatures arose from inside. The door open and shut quickly, hardly enough time for a person to maneuver their way out.
“Sorry about that, the pocket pets can get a little rowdy. I suppose you’re here for the quest?” A man answered the door, his gaze flickering over her as though sizing her up.
“Yes, I’ve heard you’ve got a theft problem. That’s something I have experience dealing with if you’d accept my help,” Fanged responded.
The man regarded her warily for a moment. “Oh, you mean you have experience catching thieves! Yes, yes I would be delighted to have your help!”
Fanged felt the sting of an unintentional insult. She knew her clothes weren’t the best, but she didn’t think she looked like a criminal! She kept her smile forced and polite. Rusty felt her stiffen and pressed against her in response.
“I appreciate the help!” the man prattled on. “You can get yourself set up in the backyard. The thief only comes out at night, so you’ll have plenty of time to get situated.”
Fanged nodded. She didn’t have much in the way of supplies, but her skills of observation were sharp. The man seemed to realize her lack of supplies and retreated inside momentarily to get her some stuff.
“Here these should help,” he said as he handed her a couple of things.
Fanged thanked him as she was given an armful of blankets. It would help her remain comfortable at the very least. She grabbed the blankets and led Rusty to the backyard.
Ideally, they needed to find a spot that was hidden, but would allow them to have a direct view of the shed. She just needed to determine where that was exactly. She stood in front of the shed, deciding that it would be easier to start there. From her position, she scanned the area for any bushes or a low wall she could hide behind. There was a row of hedges lining the yard. It was definitely a place to consider. She was wearing dark enough clothing so she shouldn’t be easily spotted.
“Follow me, Rusty,” she gestured to him as the stepped over to the hedges.
He somewhat knew the command, though he hadn’t been taught it properly. She needed to buy some training supplies first and then she would work on teaching him the basics. Once they reached the hedges, Fanged ushered Rusty behind them. She then took a step back and tested whether she could see him or not.
From her perspective, Rusty appeared adequately hidden. With the added cover of darkness, most animals would be unable to perceive him. However, their smell could easily give them away. Maybe if she could find a strong scenting plant in the garden, she could use that to mask their scent. First, she’d need to make sure that the hedge had a clear enough view of the shed.
“That was a good job, Rusty! You certainly helped a lot!”
Positive reinforcement seemed like the best way to train a pet. Even though Rusty wasn’t the sharpest tool in the shed, she still wanted to teach him how an investigation worked. He meeped as she brought the blankets over. They’d need to be comfortable if they were planning a stakeout! She peered through the hedges first, testing to see if the position was as ideal as she’d thought it had been. She had a clear enough view of the front of the shed.
Something was particularly interesting about the area; it wasn't quite something that a finger could be put on. Perhaps it was the surroundings, something about the position of the house vs the tool area?
Just as Fanged was about to pull away from her vantage point to start setting up the blankets, her fingers started tingling. Was there something unusual about this area? She squinted, having a bit difficulty pinpointing exactly what it was that was setting her alarm bells off. Her eyes flickered between the house and the tool shed. That seemed like the area that was triggering the response within her.
“Rusty, over here!” she gestured for him to join her.
The kitten perked up at the sound of her voice and nuzzled her legs as he drew near. He then plopped down onto his behind and glanced up at her, his tongue sticking out of his mouth in a playful gesture. She regarded him for a moment, measuring his height and then using that as a reference point.
“Does the path look strange to you? Something about this doesn’t seem quite right.” Fanged frowned as she glanced around.
Rusty didn’t give her much of a response. He tilted his head at her and then meeped, waving his tail as she spoke to him. There was certainly something unusual about the path. It appeared almost like it was unnaturally raised. Dusk had set in around them, making it rather difficult to see. Rusty had the ability to see in the dark, he would become her main set of eyes for this investigation. He might not have smarts, but he was aware enough to make sound if he spotted anything dangerous, or anything that caught his interest.
“I think we’d better investigate this further before we settle in for a stakeout,” she commented.
The owners of the house had performed their usual routine. This included leaving their collection of lanterns lit in the backyard. Fanged was grateful for the light, even if it made it a slight bit more difficult to be stealthy.
Fanged beckoned for Rusty to follow her. The kitten was happy to oblige. Discovering new scents within the backyard was exciting for him. She walked the halfbreed over to the middle of the pathway and then took a step back. She made note of his height and then called him over. He remained level despite the area around the path sloping. The path itself was made of simple dirt, there was no reason for it to remain elevated when the area around it wasn’t.
“Something unusual is afoot,” she remarked.
Rusty meeped in response, though he didn’t have much of an opinion on the matter. Fanged felt suddenly certain that figuring out the hidden secret of this pathway would lead her to the thief. She felt a surge of confidence, any uneasiness she had about accepting the quest vanished instantly. If there was a way to get underground, she would find it.
Fanged narrowed her eyes as she scanned the backyard. Squinting helped her see details just the slightest bit clearer. In an investigation, even the slightest bit of help could go a long way. Before she got to searching further, it might be a good idea to take a look at the tool shed. After all, if there was a secret to be found, that would be the first place she should look. Rusty followed her as she moved back to the shed. He danced in place in excitement as she opened the door, eager to explore the inside.
“Now don’t break anything,” she warned him.
Rusty tilted his head as he regarded her. He didn’t seem to quite understand and was gradually getting impatient waiting for her to open the door. She indulged him and ushered him inside.
“We don’t exactly have the credits to cover the expense of anything you break,” she murmured.
The interior of the tool shed was grandiose, almost extravagantly so. Rusty eagerly pushed forward, enraptured by all of the items that were just out of his reach. Fanged took a moment to study the layout of the room. Figuring out how the culprit was getting in would be necessary to solving this mystery. She kept an eye on Rusty, though thankfully he couldn’t get a hold of anything important. He was busy trying to crawl underneath a cabinet which he was much too large to fit under.
“At least that’s keeping you distracted,” she said.
There were a few open hooks and spaces where tools were clearly meant to be placed. There were a fair amount missing, the thief had been active for quite a while. She tried to figure out what tools were missing, that might give an indication for what the thief needed the tools for. Crimes were easier to solve when you knew motive.
There were a few wrenches missing, each of them from the smaller end of the wrench spectrum. If the pattern continued, that would suggest that the culprit was on the smaller side of things. She took inventory of the rest of the shed, it appeared that all of the missing tools were small and easy to carry. That supported the hypothesis that the quest giver had presented her with, that the culprit was a creature. Figuring out what kind of creature would be a bit more difficult. They were certain to be small, none of the larger and heavier tools were missing after all. She looked at Rusty, taking his size into account.
“You wouldn’t be able to carry a whole lot of the tools in here. Sure you could carry a wrench in your mouth, but at the rate the tools have disappeared, that seems unlikely for the culprit to have done.”
(Rusty 21 4/5, 21 4/5)
Fiera Ferella: right??? i was really hoping i could find one of those pachee before the season was out.
May 26, 2020 18:51:32 GMT -6
Fanged: Oh wow that's an awesome garden find FF
May 26, 2020 18:13:26 GMT -6
Riku: Oh how perfect! I woke up wanting to post (unexpected, but yay) and saw I had a reply. <3 Meant to be.
May 26, 2020 6:40:43 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: I really, really love all the updates that have come~! <3
May 24, 2020 2:12:37 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: np!!! I hope y'all like it!
May 23, 2020 13:45:06 GMT -6
Riku: What an awesome update, staff! Thanks for that! <3
May 23, 2020 12:06:52 GMT -6
Jack: All have been found!
May 23, 2020 9:53:27 GMT -6
Jack: Might want to be on the lookout for anything... odd
May 22, 2020 23:51:22 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Yeah it’s definitely a coincidence but wow did it work out well for us! XD
May 22, 2020 6:43:27 GMT -6
Silver: I'm pretty sure that was just a coincidence, but it sure feels lucky!
May 22, 2020 2:07:09 GMT -6
Riku: So did you guys make this hosting switch perfectly RIGHT before pb broke? >.< Thaz crazy. It’s a huge relief and I’m very glad we’ve come to this. <3
May 22, 2020 1:41:01 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: It’s free up to a certain number of GB, which we haven’t hit yet.
May 21, 2020 6:46:33 GMT -6
Twilight-Claw: Is the site that is going to be used to host all those images also the type you'd need to pay for? (definitely noticed the broken images yeah. Photobucket feels like it is standing on its last legs. X3 )
May 21, 2020 0:13:57 GMT -6
Morgan: I'm just kinda nervous about them going down before things get moved over completely. It's prolly nothing to be worried about though. :3
May 20, 2020 22:13:15 GMT -6
Fiera Ferella: Thank goodness we're moving out of there? XD
May 20, 2020 21:59:22 GMT -6
Renathan: Ugh, photobucket has the images broke again. x3
May 20, 2020 21:18:53 GMT -6