Junior Detective Agency

Case of the Missing Mascot, Athena Strong

Synopsis: A group of young friends solve mysteries, crimes, riddles and difficult math problems all while braving the wilderness of Athena Junior High.

~*~Characters~*~

Brandon Logan Thomas Junior, whose father, Brandon Devon Sr. is a police officer

Tyrone Luke Thomas, his younger brother

Tabitha Thomas, the mother of the boys, loving and devoted wife to Brandon Devon Sr.

Tiara Ellen Thomas, the youngest member of the Thomas family

'Angie' Angela Louisa Lopez, the street smart athlete

Lord Colin Postelwaithe, token 'rich' spoiled kid, tends to be impulsive, a British import

Lynn Cloudfeather, the 'brain' and spiritual one

Sue Ming, treasurer, secretary, violin player

Hanz Friedrich Ludwig, exchange student from Germany. Very rational, logical, and often quiet

Hanai Koto, a Japanese American transfer student who, out of his inquisitive nature, joins the ranks of the JDA after the whole 'Promise Ring' incident and remains friends with Brandon even after his girlfriend was momentarily stolen from him. Hanai is a poet and despite his 'punkish' looks, he is a true blue friend, and loyal. He has a heart of gold. His one secret; he's a fan of bishoujo anime

Morgan Fox, an artsy-craftsy type who dresses up as the Athena Junior High Mascot, Athena Strong . Since she's gone missing, she is suspect, but she claims she had nothing to do with Athena's strange disappearance.

Chapter 1—Another Busy Morning

The day had begun like any other, except that this was the final year that Brandon would be attending Athena Junior High for the last time. Tabitha and Brandon Senior had already decided that he would be attending High School in Chicago. The school was for advanced students and was one of the most renowned in the State. It was called Montessori High and unlike Athena, its price range was a bit more flexible, but Brandon would still have to wear a uniform like he did in Athena. At this point and time, Brandon was getting used to wearing a uniform. At least in college he could do his own thing, but for now, he followed the rules and tended to his 1-year old sister when his schedule called for it.

Chapter 2—Punky Artiste

The Athena Warriors had been preparing for a soccer game. Morgan Fox, the cheerleader responsible for wearing the heralded costume of Athena Strong had taken her keys from the coach, Mrs. Rachel Landfaire and gone to the locker room to take the costume out of storage before the game began to start. Even before the game, the environment was crackling with electricity. Everyone in the stands was desperate to see the Warriors take on their most respected advesary, the Greenwood Dryads.

Morgan, typically a rather calm, artistic young woman nearly felt the green highlights of her hair drain when she opened the locker that kept Athena Strong safe before a new game could begin.

The mascot was nowhere to be found. She took out her cell and begain dialing Coach Landfaire, alerting her to the problem.

"What ? Missing ? But that's impossible. I've always trusted you with the responsibility of keeping her locked away after our games. No one else, except for myself could've had the keys on their person at all times, but I didn't take Athena Strong. No ! I could never do such a despicable thing !", Rachel said, disgusted with whomever had commited this vile act. Morgan pointed at fliers that were posted on the bleachers.

"Junior Detective Agency. Have you heard of them ? If anyone can figure out the person or persons behind Athena's abduction, they can.", Morgan said, confidently.

"Good call, Fox.", Rachel said, jovially, patting Morgan on the shoulder strongly.

Chapter 3—Investigating

After the team had met Morgan, Colin's snap judgement of her as 'prime suspect' immediately dissolved. He sheepishly asked for the punky girl's apology, which she did easily and without batting an eye. Her winning personality made all the gang like her, and like them, she wanted to look into the case further to help wherever she was needed.

It seemed that all the cheerleaders weren't responsible for the henious 'kidnapping'. Coaches had been asked of Athena's whereabouts, but none of them had seen her since her disappearance. It seemed that the Junior Detective Agency was running out of 'persons of interest'. Despite that, they never gave up, and continued investigating late into the night.

Chapter 4—Late Night Eavesdropping

Even after Athena Junior High was closing down for the day and only the faculty and staff where availible for questioning while doing paperwork. Long after everyone had finished filing and sorting and preparing the lesson plans for the next day, amongst many other errands, Tyrone had stayed behind, completely unnoticed by anyone who may still be in the school, providing clean up for the evening.

The rest of the JDA remained outside of the school premesis to see if any suspicous characters would appear. Tyrone had noticed that Eustace the custodian, the one that had given Brandon his tip on their very first case, had been muttering something to himself. He seemed to be very troubled and chastizing himself severely.

"I never should've been so gullible. I had always thought I could count on Bailey to lock down the school when I was down and out with the flu !", Eustace cursed silently under his breath. Tyrone came out of hiding and crept up behind Eustace, waiting for an opportune time to ask him about this 'Bailey' fellow.

Eustace turned around, feeling he had heard tiny footsteps but dismissed it as a product of his tiredness. Then, he turned around and saw Tyrone. Immediately, he scolded the young black boy, but did so in a way that was gentle and firm.

"You know if you get caught I'm going to lose my job.", Eustace warned.

"I'm very much aware of that, Eustace. But you don't have to worry about that. Just tell me all you know about Bailey and we're in like Flynn.", Tyrone said, with a quick wink of his eye.

After a quick interview with Eustace, Tyrone had learned Bailey O'Mulligan was a coach at a rival school, Eminence. Eminence had always loathed Athena's soccer team and they always lost, year after year, no matter what. In fact, Eminence's winning streak was always disrupted when they played against the Warriors. Eustace felt responsible for letting Bailey look around Athena Junior High on the basis that he was simply admiring the school as a 'fan'. He was even tricked into giving Bailey his keys, but luckly had a spare set made and new locks forged so no one would ever know of Eustace's transgression. If they had, it was likely he would be fired on the spot by the Principal who really wasn't that compassionate when it came to 'national treasures' such as Athena Strong.

"Good, then that's all we need to know. Let's start digging tomorrow. It's too late for us to wrap our minds around why Bailey would want to commit this terrible deed.", Sue said. The others agreed. For the time being, they would rest, recouperate, and regroup. Tomorrow, the questioning would begin and Bailey O'Mulligan would have to make himself accountable for his misdeeds.

Chapter 5—A Bit Childish, Perhaps

Eminence was a bit of a drive from Athena Junior High, but fortunately, Brandon Senior took the whole Detective gang to speak to their 'person of interest'. He had warned them that they were going by 'assumption and supposition', but Morgan's conviction on Bailey had been incredibly convincing. She had interacted with Bailey before and Bailey could be a terrible hothead when matters didn't go 'his way' as planned. Normally, he was very approachable and downright friendly. In fact, a lot of people knew Bailey as a 'big brother' type, but he took sports a wee bit too seriously at times.

O'Mulligan's house was mid-sized and wonderfully welcoming. All around the place where pictures of Bailey and his wife, as well as his two kids, Katie and Caleb, both fully grown and had families of their own. The only family member that was left with O'Mulligan was his trusty blue-tick hound, Blue. O'Mulligan didn't act the least bit suspicious, but it was almost like Morgan could smell where Athena Strong was being held. She found her in an old broom closet and drug her out, trying her best not to lose her cool or act accusing, or scornful.

"Bailey, why did you do it ? How could you steal the one thing that is at the heart and soul of Athena Junior High's school spirit ?", she asked, her eyes held back tears of relief that the mascot was back where it rightfully belonged. Bailey threw the school keys back at them and Brandon caught them in midair without missing a beat.

"Why did you trick your best friend ? I wouldn't even do such a thing, even if it offered me temporary gain !", Colin shot off, completely irate at the coach who sat before them, keeping his lips buttoned.

"I thought that if they lost Athena that maybe the Eminence Lions would have their day in the sun. No matter what we do, we always lose when it comes to playing against the Warriors.", Bailey stated, reluctantly. He had realized just how childish he had been and it had dawned upon him that he could possibly face incarceration for stealing. He was chagrined, feeling like he could kick himself for allowing his anger to control him as he had so many times in the past.

The Agency felt sad about having to bring this man to justice, since deep down, Bailey O'Mulligan would never hurt a fly. Yet, justice had to be served.

Epilogue

Bailey O'Mulligan was brought to the police station, questioned, had his day in court and with the ruling of the judge only had to serve 6 years community service. In other words, he was lucky that he had gotten off with such a light sentence. The testimonials from the Agency, his family and his old friend (the two reconciled and made amends even after O'Mulligan had taken advantage of Eustace) made his case all the more compelling for an 'easier' sentence. O'Mulligan said he had learned his lesson and decided to take anger management courses to finally best the beast called wrath. In time, he would learn to cool the fires raging within him and knowing that simply because something doesn't go your way doesn't mean that the world is coming to an end and perhaps the world is trying to teach you a lesson not to take things like soccer so seriously.

After seeing her performance solving the mascot case, Morgan was initiated as a member. She truly felt that she was part of something monumental and that someday, like her friends, she would become involved in a field that would change the world and make the world a better place.

That year was a bittersweet one, especially after the Athena Warriors won their final game. Morgan would no longer be wearing the mascot costume and come to think of it, she would miss being Athena Strong. This was akin to a funeral, but she didn't percieve it as thus. This occasion was more of a jovial one. She and her friends would be moving on to Montessori High, where they would be together for the last time before moving on to college. At least, for now, she enjoyed the closeness and camaraderie that they had together, because who knew what lay ahead of them at Montessori ?

To be continued...In Intreped Detectives On a Mission (lovingly abbreviated 'IDOAM'), our team develops a new indentity for itself and delves into dating, as well as more 'adult' cases in the realm of High School.