Intrepid Detectives On A Mission

The College Years

Case of the Test Cheater

Synopsis: Taking place during the High School and College years of our heroes ending with their employement, success, marriages and family lives.

~*~ 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 Thomas, token librarian for the team, makes sure all 'minutes' are up to date and that the Detectives keep up to task

'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, whom having since redeemed himself from the 'Promise Ring' incident, is now an integral asset to the team. Poet, sage, and punk with a heart of pure gold.

Definitely one to count on in a pinch with secret knowledge of martial arts and the healing power of chakras.

Malcom Dodds, a former enemy turned friend who is an informant to the team. A 'mole', if you will. Crafty, cunning, sly, and a bit of a rebel. A strategist that is loyal to the cause of meeting justice.

Stephanie Stein, a shy, bookish fashionista who has been admiring Malcom from afar

She's never felt worthy of the detectives, but proves to be an essential member even if she lefts her fingers and music do the talking more than her words.

Morgan Fox, a kind of 'mascot' for the team. Artsy-craftsy member.

Lola Barnette, Tyrone's girlfriend

Darius Koinania, Tiara's boyfriend

Chapter 1—Slacker Apparent

The new year had begun seemlessly enough. Brandon was working part-time as a pizza delivery boy to help his parents pay off his college bills. The hours were good even though the pay was terrible. He had gotten into police academy early and had begun showing signs of being a progidy. It was apparent that he was a quick study and that after he had graduated that a stable job would be waiting for him at the station. As for Tyrone, he was a star athlete and had gained himself a sports scholarship to attend the same college his brother had. It wasn't known whether he thought of going pro or not, since he wanted to be a stand-up comedian. He would keep his dream on the back burner for the time being, since he realized such a life was trying. However, the Thomas family was one that never gave up, and never quit when something was difficult. Like his elder brother before him, he would follow his dream and become the next Bernie Mac.

Tiara was well on her way up in the world, developing a passion for Greek myth and history thanks to her boyfriend Darius' influence. She hoped to become a history teacher someday. She had already proven to be an avid reader and was a virtual Wikipedia on just about everything. Someday, she hoped to prove herself in a game show and use the winnings to help rebuild schools that had been 'forgotten'.

Just like any other year, the Detectives could juggle homework, tests and problems brought forth by fellow students. Yet, the most difficult tests of the year were approaching and it was impossible not to run into a student bewailing that fact.

Lynn didn't let it sadden her. If anything, she was the advocate for positive thinking in her 'team of friendship'. If anyone began to look a little down in the dumps, she began singing a catchy tune to them or sending a 100 killowatt smile their way and that never failed to lift their spirits.

However, there was a huge problem. One student, namely Roger Felipe Rodrigo rarely if ever appeared in class, except to take tests. Even when he fell asleep in class and rudely ignored the hardworking teachers, he always managed to pass his courses with A+s. It was like he wasn't even trying. He had been getting by like this from the first grade forward and most of what had gotten him through was his charisma, handsome good looks, charm and sweet-talking ways. It was obvious that this guy was the notorious 'test cheater', but no one had noticed it. Even if he had dangled red herrings in front of the Detectives from the start of the year. Stephanie Stein was determined that karma would repay itself on Rodrigo. She simply had to catch him when he tried to make his next move. Only problem now was, she would have to wait until May. That's when finals would start, and this is when she decided that there could be a hole in his plot to graduate this year. He would have to graduate through hard work, dedication and participation just like every other student at Chicago University, Stephanie was certain of that.

Chapter 2—Miffed By 'Clues'

"I'm getting so ticked off by this 'Cheater'. He's taunting us, that little jerk !", Angie grumbled. Stephanie finally got the gumption and courage to speak up.

"I did a little research on Roger Rodrigo. Seems he's been in the business of cheating since he was in the first grade and has become quite a pro at it. Hanz, thanks to his hacking abilities, was able to access a file of disciplinary actions taken against Rodrigo. Rodrigo never saw the principals office, let alone expulsion for violating the school's one cardinal rule. It really steams me up that he could get away with cheating for such a long time.", she said.

"Bravo, Steph. But how do we nab him ?", Malcom asked, now clued in to the fact that Stephanie's coy act around him was simply to make him notice that she fancied him all along.

"In Algebra, I noticed him writing out the blueprints to his latest plot. He plans to come into the school late at night. He's already bribed the Dean for his key for letting him borrow his latest subscription for Maxim. Ugh, it disgusts me that I respected that guy once.", Stephanie relayed. Hanz's hacking had been beneficial once again, and as usual, with ninja stealth, he had left no trace that he had ever been 'poking' around the system for Rodrigo's file. Now all that had to be done was for the team to watch the University, steakout style. Rodrigo's days of mockery were finally at a close.

Chapter 3—Shinobi Mode

The Detectives had clearance from the embarassed Dean to go into what Angie dubbed 'Shinobi Mode'.

"You're a geek, just like the rest of us.", Sue teased, to which Angie initated a mock punch into the Asian's arm.

"I wish Hanz could be here with us. This is so reminiscent of old times.", Lynn stated with some melancholy. Even if he couldn't the report of the aftermath would be emailed to him with all the juicy details.

The whole group was dressed in black and crouched behind gooseberry bushes. Without making one peep, they watched as Rodrigo swiped the Dean's security card and saunter on into Chicago U. The rest of them soon followed after and kept a safe distance behind them. Malcom had a CoolPix camera on hand to catch the suspect red-handed. No one had to complain about Malcom's bad habit of smoking since he had started using Nicorette to kick his addiction. Little by little, he was overcoming the magnetism and allure cigarettes had had on him. If anything he was quitting for himself, his beautiful girlfriend Stephanie, and for his friends who had become his extended family.

As soon as they caught Rodrigo slinking down the hall and sneaking into Mr. Paul Dillon's office, they knew that Rodrigo had found what he had been looking after the whole time; the answer key to the upcoming Algebra final.

"That dirty rat ! He's been getting by on memorizing all of the answers !", Lola chided, shaking her head left and right. How she had even gotten involved in this steakout was beyond the Detectives' reasoning. It was more than likely that the curiosity had gotten the better of her and she wanted to come along for the ride to see 'how the Intreped Detectives' worked'.

"Now on my signal, we bust him. 3...2..1...NOW !", Brandon said in a hushed tone so as not to break cover. The entire team rushed into the room and hit the lights. Terrified, Roger stood as if he were a deer in headlights. After many years of taking the easy way out, he would have to pay the penalty. One year of expulsion was his punishment.

"I hope you've learned your lesson. Cheaters never prosper.", Brandon said, as the Hispanic was driven home by Brandon's own dad, Brandon Senior.

"I never get tired of your comebacks, bro. You're way too awesome for words. Your epicness knows no boundaries.", Tyrone complimented.

"Is he always like this ?", Lola questioned Sue, not realizing how much of a fanboy Tyrone could be in his hero-worship of Brandon.

"Pretty much, ya.", Sue said, with a chuckle. At last, everyone could disband and start studying for the upcoming monster final exams. They would be a bear, but it was to test their mettle and see if they had truly understood what they had absorbed during the semester.

Epilogue

Finals had come to an end, much to the relief of the students. Thanks to their rigorous studies, Brandon and his friends had passed with flying colors. Bedazzled, and slightly overwhelmed with utter euphoria, he, Sue, Angie, Malcom, Hanai, Colin, Lynn, Stephanie and Morgan traipsed across the stage and received their diplomas. Now what concerned the lot of them were their working lives after graduating from Chicago University. It was incredible and even dramatic how quickly time had passed in the young friends' lives. The youngest members of the "Detectives" had serious relationships and were gearing up for college. They had their lives planned and knew where they were going, but even in spite of that, the whole lot of them would be learning from day to day, experiencing new adventures and solving new, magnificent mysteries.

To be concluded...

In the 'Aftermath', the career paths that our characters take are revealed, weddings performed and parenthood is explored. All of our characters achieve adulthood at last, as well as pleasant endings to their existences.