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*ALL NAMES AND LOCATIONS ARE A PRODUCT OF MY IMAGINATION. ANY RESEMBLANCE OR MENTION TO ANYONE IN REAL LIFE, LIVING OR DEAD, IS PURELY COINCIDENTAL.*

“Well, what should I do? I have a month off, and I’m not allowed to investigate that discovery. I suppose I could take an actual vacation for once… if that’s possible.” Every vacation you, Leslie Young, have ever had, even as a child, had ended up as an investigation of some sort. From catching a kidnapper by letting them “kidnap” you to simply finding a rich family’s lost exotic pet, you never once had just been able to relax while on vacation. So you call up a friend to fly you down to the Caribbean on his private jet.

“Thanks for this Mike. I really need a vacation.”

“No problem. It’s been a long time since I’ve seen you, and it’s always nice to see you. However, trouble seems to follow you, if you know what I mean.”

“Ha, ha. I’m hoping to get ahead of it, at least for a little while. I haven’t been able to plan a vacation for over four years now. The closest to a vacation I’ve had since then is resting in my office.”

“Wow! You REALLY need this!” The two of you laugh until a loud ‘BANG!’ is heard and the jet starts a nosedive. Mike runs up to the cockpit and manages to get the pilots to pull it into a crash course with a nearby island’s mountain. Another loud 'BANG!' is heard. He and the pilots come into the back and grab parachutes. “The engines blew up!” he says. Mike tosses one to you, which you put on. When all of you are in the air, he motions to a village before pulling his cord. You pull your cord, but a sudden gust pushes you to the other side of the island. You hear a tearing sound, and notice you are falling faster. Part of the parachute falls on front of you, so you look up. A large bird has flown away with a large piece of the parachute in its talons. You look down and see a large tree below you. A few broken branches later, you come to a stop. You think you hear someone yelling, and you look down at the ground. A group of people are gathered around the tree, and a ladder lands on the tree next to your head. You pass out.

As you start to come to, you hear several hospital noises. You hear heels coming into your room, and suddenly see a very bright light. You tilt your head away and close your eyes. You manage to make out a few words of what the woman is saying. “You… a fall. Are… feeling better?” You blink few times and try to say something, but you can’t hear what you are saying. You hear her laugh, and notice her sit down on the other side of the room. After a few minutes, everything has cleared up. “Can you hear me now?” she says.

“Yeah. Where am I?”

“The island of Barrio del Sol. It’s a little island that gets sun all year round. The literal translation is-“

“‘Neighborhood of the sun’. It’s Spanish. I remember a gale blowing me away from my friend and the pilots. Which side of the island am I on?”

“Well there is only one hospital on this island. This is next to the west coast, the opposite side you came from. You only got bruised from the fall, so you are able to leave as soon as you feel better… Um…”

“Is something wrong?”

“It’s just… you’re a detective, right? That’s what your ID says.”

“Yes I am. I suppose you need to investigate something or something’s missing or whatever?”

“Heh heh… The island’s artifact has been stolen. Normally I’m not supposed to tell anyone, but the elder heard about you and asked me to talk to you about it. We know the culprit is someone on the island, and that there are several people who have reason to steal it. I don’t know the names of these people, but the elder will tell you if decide to help.”

“… Well what’s a vacation without investigating something, huh?” You chuckle to yourself.

After you discharge yourself from the hospital, Maria, the doctor you talked with, directs you to the elder’s house. Before you stands a wrinkled old man with a large colorful staff. “Detective, come in.” You follow him in, and take some tea when he offers you some. “This is an herbal tea that will help with the pain. I hope you are tough, as the ones who may have stolen the artifact are violent. I wish to test your mettle before you start, including your ability to gather information. So what knowledge do you require before heading out, hm?”

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I agree with the record-check, you can never be too sure...

Also, ask about the old man, and his grandson. Both of them.

So far I've just been reading this whole thread (like a novel), and I am impressed with what you're doing, OmegaScales. Reminds me of Andromeda's puzzles, which is why I came to The Den to begin with. Anyways, GOOD STUFF!

Edited by Faizaan
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You can still guess for the town name origin if you want. The hint is still available. Also, when Nina said her hypothesis was irrelevant to the case, that was a hint that it is irrelevant to the case. But I’ll tell you if you would still like to know- outside the story, of course. Also, any record-checking or video-checking or other stuff will be described after you leave the suspects’ homes.

You bring your left hand up to your head, and lean your right against the wall. It hasn’t stopped bleeding completely, but has slowed down dramatically. “Could I have some orange juice or something? I’m getting a little lightheaded.”

Leo goes to the kitchen, while Nina tells you that you will eventually need to get to the hospital for better treatment, since the sugar will only keep you level-headed, not restore blood. But then, there are those rivals of Leo’s outside, and they will not care if you die. Leo returns with some chocolate cake and chocolate milk. He asks you to follow him to the living room. You lie down on the couch after finishing the cake and milk so the blood can flow to your brain more easily. You still have some time before you need to get to the hospital, so you decide to ask just a few more questions. [5 more not including how to get to the hospital alive, or the following]

“What do you know about the elder’s grandson, Jorge? And speaking of, what about the elder himself?”

Leo looks at you, surprised. “What? Do you think the elder took it?”

“Not really, but he is the only one the animals don’t attack around. I was more wondering if he had some sort of schedule or something someone could have exploited.”

“Oh. Well, the only thing I know is that I want to know how he gets his information. He gets his information before I do for the most part, and between the two of us, we know almost everything about this island’s residents. Jorge, however, I know about. His current debt is to an arms dealer. A legal one, that is, since we don’t have a government telling us right and wrong. This island is owned by no country, organization, or otherwise. Anyway, Jorge is not the kind to give up. In fact, he would do anything to not give up. As far as I know, he had the opportunity to take it. There is a lot more I know, but it is not relevant.” Nina only says that she knows the same things her father does about Jorge.

WIT(cont.)+

You also need to figure out how to get out alive now.

By the way, mirandarball, you are both doing this correctly and pretty well.

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ask if they have some kind of distraction so leslie can sneek out the back door and get to the hospital. ask if leslie has any other questions would it be ok to come back? tell nina leslie would like to play a game with her later. sneek out the back door and get to the hospital after the distraction starts.

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anagram of omegascales

Yep.

Ask each suspect about something irrelevent, making it seemingly relevant. My suggestion would be to ask what they think about the animals of the island. How they respond can tell you how each of them think, and might even give you more hints.

And out from the shadows appeared Shadow7! Made us feel like failures.

Yor're not failures, you just overanalyzed. That happens a lot when you don't keep an open mind. And to make up for it here's another little hint:

Sometimes the culprit is someone you would least suspect, or even not expect at all, even if if the evidence is right under your nose.

“Hey Nina? Do you have any idea how I can get out of here alive?”

“Leon- Father can do what he usually does to get you out the back. You wouldn’t mind, would you?”

“I suppose not. I’ll call the gang now.” Leo goes to the phone, while Nina explains that when he needs to go out, he calls his gang up and has them get in a gun fight out front while he goes out the back undetected. She also says that it would be best not to come back or call, just in case one of the rival gangs goes after you.

WIT(cont.)

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my thought all along has been the elder. ask him to meet you at the hospital to visit the next suspect. when he arrives ask him something like. So i know you must be getting close to retirement. Are you sad since you've spent your life doing this ritual? who does the ritual after you're gone? maybe have some police ready just in case it is him.

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"Could you also have the elder meet me at the hospital?"

"Alright. I'll call him."

"Oh, and sorry about getting blood on your couch."

"It's fine. It happens every month."

WIT(cont.)

Do you want to continue straight to the hospital, or do you still have some questions(still five left)?

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ask nina who she believes took the staff and ask her how she thinks they did it. also ask her about the animals. why do you think of the ritual and the elder? and let her know if she thinks of anything else to give you a call

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Ask Nina if she has any thoughts on why the animals might be so big. Ask Leo if he has any ideas about why they don't hurt the elder. Also ask about the blood getting on the couch every month.

edit: adding a question

Edited by Shadow7
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You have already talked to Nina about the animals (in general), and you cannot have contact with either of them until the mystery is solved or you have proof one of them did it. I’ll tell you, directly, the answer to the following question to save you from wasting it:

Every month, one of Leo’s gang members comes by to give a report. Every time, they have blood on them from rival gangs trying to keep them away, and since they stay for a while, they sit on the couch.

This is the only time I’ll do this (during a WIT), so be careful, not curious.

After Leo is finished on the phone, he comes back over.

“Nina, who do you think took the staff, and how?”

“Did you find any evidence of human interaction at the site?”

“No.”

“Then most likely Jorge or Roberto. I wouldn’t know how they might have taken it, but they are very good at sneaking around. Each could leave little to no evidence they were there, and could have taken it without encountering any animals.”

“Do either of you have any idea why the animals don’t attack around the elder?”

Leo puts a hand to his chin, thinking. Nina, however, already has an idea. “It is actually one of my theories. I believe that the staff has a certain chemical on it that makes the animals protective of it. Different species of animals would react differently to it, or not at all, such as the birds do not seem to be protective of it at all, while the jungle cats are the most protective. Basically, I believe that there are certain chemicals in or on it that are part of the make-up of jungle cats, since they protect their kin. Since the elder is always around it, the chemical may have transferred over to him, thereby protecting him and those around him.”

“Why do you hate almost everything on this island, Nina?”

She chuckles before answering you. “Because it’s all stupid. The ritual doesn’t help prevent the volcanoes from erupting, and the elder is stupid for performing it. The people are stupid for believing it works. I hate things that are stupid, except for those that actually don’t know better, such as animals. They are naturally limited to what they can know and do, but humans are not so limited.”

WIT(cont.)

Two questions left.

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One quick note: I meant that the only predators of the jungle cat *on the island* are humans, not that humans are their only predators period.

The fight side of the "fight or flight" usually kicks in when an animal is cornered (i.e. threatened), otherwise most animals run. Since the prey of the jungle cats are mostly small rodents, frogs, and birds, they would more often run instead of fight. Since you obviously didn't know this, I will let it slide this once. Remember: the internet is your friend :D .

“Do either of you have a relationship with Jorge or Roberto?”

Leo looks calm as you say this, but Nina seems to tense up a little. “I have worked with Jorge before, but I do not know him personally. As for Roberto, I would rather stay away from. It’s not that he scares me, but he has stolen from everybody on the island but me.” An uncomfortable silence fills the room. “Nina, respuesta la detective.” She doesn’t respond. In fact, she tenses up a little more.

You ask Leo to step out of the room for a few minutes. After you are sure he isn’t listening in, you continue. “You’re dating one of them?”

She looks at you, feeling a little calmer. “Jorge is… really nice to me. He isn’t using me or anything, and it’s not the other way around either. He is really nice, but he gets scared easily. He won’t give up on his dreams until he dies, and I want to help him, like he is helping me. He… he promised to take me to Bermuda when he leaves next. I know he’s almost thirty and I’m still a teenager, but I don’t care. Love is more than chemicals, and… I love him. And he loves me. Please don’t tell anyone about us. Just between the three of us, okay? Please?”

“All right, I won’t.”

“Swear?”

“I swear on my father’s soul.” As you say this, you hold up your right hand, and your other to your necklace, which you received from your father before he died. It is a gold mini-chain locket necklace with a diamond on each side of the four inch heart. You had never been able to open it, even after taking it to the jewelers. “What about Roberto?”

“He tried to steal some of my jewelry, but got caught in a trap I set up. Other than that, he left no sign had been there, he wore latex gloves, clothes stripped of loose fibers, wore socks on his shoes to prevent dirt from getting in the crevices, and had planned to dispose of them in our own garbage disposal. He also stayed out of sight of all the cameras. That’s ‘Rob’ for you.” The two of you laugh. She goes and gets her father so you can ask your final question.

WIT(cont.)

Final question.

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Hmmm. Maybe after you get to the hospital, you can try to open your locket.

ask nina if she can help you catch the suspect-if she isnt the thief, of course.

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I think there was a misinterpretation. Jungle cats are a specific species of animal, separate from lions and such. Boars are not part of a jungle cat's diet. They eat smaller animals, such as squirrels, rats, gerbils, etc. and do eat some fruits as well.

The locket will come up in another "chapter."

And for the third time, you cannot contact either of them until you are concluding your investigation. I did count. That rules out Nina helping you, and your final question. (Yes, I can be a SOB/jerk. I will have less tolerance as the chapters progress.)

You think for a moment of what you should ask, but gunshots are heard before you get a chance to ask anything. Leo brings you to the back door, where two of his men are waiting. They put you in the back of an ATV and bring you through what you thought had been a forest, since you only saw the trees from the air and the elder’s directions. It seems more of a marsh, yet the trees are not what you would see in a normal marsh. But then, this island has been more than normal. Your bandages and cord loosen up from all the bumps and you start to bleed again. You start to slip away. As they bring you into the hospital, Dr. Maria sees you and comes over. “What happened to you?”

“I went to check a couple suspects. The Núñez’s?”

“Oh. Ah, I see now. Lucky for you, I’m one of the doctors here that are good all-around. What’s your blood type?”

“O positive…” you say as you lose consciousness.

As you wake up, again, you hear some familiar laughing. At first you can’t quite place it, but then you hear a voice. It sounds slightly gruff and old. “Ah, decided to join us detective?” The elder’s laugh warms your soul a bit. You take a minute to readjust. Again. Looking around, you see both the elder and Dr. Maria.

You may ask questions to both of them.

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