Lola and Amyas arrived in Beauvillage in good spirits, while discussing on his plan to take Dixie out.
"Just be yourself, Amyas and you´ll do fine."said Lola as the two were walking the street in the Tofu´s neighbourhood.
"I can´t thank you enough, Lola."said Amyas in amazement.
"Its no problem Amyas."said Lola waving it off.
Suddenly a blue van flew past them, sending their hair flying.
"Miles. How many times must I tell him, not to drive like a lunatic."growled Lola as the van stopped at their house.
"Miles? As in Michael Miles?"asked Amyas as the van´s door opened.
Chichi and Miles jumped out of the van and instantly opened the backdoor and started to grab giant sacks that were in there.
"Miles! What did I say about driving trough Beauvillage so fast?"scolded Lola as soon as the pair reached the dynamic duo, while taking a small note that she did indeed sound like her grandmother now.
"The situation called for it, Lola. No time to explain."said Chichi swiftly as they turned to the house.
Lola and Amyas looked at eachother before following them into the house gasping as soon as they entered. The house was once more cramped full of small cages and dens all of which held one of the pets. Mom, Pop, Buba, April and Phil were running about from one pet to the other – a complete pandemonium.
"We brought the herbs Mom."said Chichi.
"Thank you little chimpmunk. Just let it down near the sink. I´ll get the herb recipe going right away."said Mom, swiftly going over to the stove, which held a large pot which was cooking.
"We´ll go get the rest of the stuff, but please remember to save some of that juicy stuff for me."said Miles as he and Chichi let down the sacks near the sink.
"This is no time to think about your stomach, Miles."exclaimed Chichi before the two exited the house.
"What´s going on here?"exclaimed Amyas.
"Oh no its back."said Lola as the knelt next to one of the pets.
"Yes, and it seems to be getting worse."
Lola spun to the source of the voice, knowing it so well by now. Her boyfriend was just returning from the yard, carrying a giant bowl which had several tubes in it.
"Its a catastrophe. Mr Outwild even said, that whatever is going on here is happening in Megacity too."said Billy as he and Lola exchanged their greeting kisses.
"How long have you guys been here?"asked Lola.
"Over two hours. We really had our hands full."said April.
"We have to figure out what causes this."exclaimed Phil.
"It seems to be food poisoning."said Buba.
"But how could be all these pets poisoned? Wouldn´t people be affected as well?"wondered Phil.
"I am going to find out. Me, Phil, Chichi and Miles will go around town as soon as these are taken care of."said Billy with a determined look.
"We will help you too."said Lola.
"The EPO will not stand and do nothing."exclaimed Amyas.
And so, an hour later the group split into teams of two and went to track any leads into this mystery. Lola with Billy, Chichi with April, Phil with Miles and Amyas on his own.
However they were not alone in this. The brotherhood of the Wise were also on the trail.
"So what d´you think could´ve caused this epidemic."asked Nick, his blue sunglasses on, Tex and Archie behind him, Archie writing down everything into the notepad he was given by Wiseman and Tex recording everything trough a large microphone, photo camera around his neck.
Their classmates looked from one to the other. Their class always met on the Beauvillage´s playground. So the three members of the brotherhood took the oppoturnity.
"Are you guys trying to be reporters?"asked Emily curiously.
"We´re detective Wiseman´s personal asistants."exclaimed Tex who found the question insulting.
"Yeah. He and us are the Brotherhood of the Wise."exclaimed Archie.
Their classmates looked at eachother. Chloe stiffled her giggles and Oliver snorted in humor.
"Wierd name. But since you three are helping detective Wiseman it can´t hurt, then."said Marion.
The trio interviewed their classmates, but hadn´t learnt much aside from the fact, that they brought their sick pets to the Tofu´s vet station and that Miles, Billy, April and Phil are helping them. Growing frustrated Nick paced for a second, as the other teens looked on.
"Ah. Speak of the devil."said Archie pointing to the playground entrance.
Chichi and April were approaching.
"AHA! The suspect has arrived. Ready to give yourself up, Tofu?"exclaimed Tex.
Chichi quirked his eyebrow and snorted a laugh at the sight of the sunglasses.
"What the hell are you talking about."he said calmly.
Nick wanted to say something but was cut off by Chloe who rushed to the newcomers.
"Chichi, April how´s Snowball? Is she all right?"she asked desperately.
"She´s still sick, Chloe but we´re doing all we can at the moment."said April as they joined the small circle.
"We are convinced, they are all suffering from food poisoning."said Chichi drawing a collective gasp from all.
"We need to know, what could´ve caused it. What have you given your pets in the last 24 hours?"
Chichi´s question was met with a thoughtfull silence.
"Hey, we´re the ones asking questions here!"exclaimed Archie.
"Out of what position, if I may ask. If I recall correctly, neighter of you is helping the animals."said April.
"We are helping. Helping detective Wiseman. We´re the brotherhood of the Wise."said Tex proudly.
Chichi and April looked at eachother and a second later erupted in hilarious laughter.
"Stop laughing!"exclaimed Archie.
"Yeah, what´s so funny?"shouted Tex.
"...the Wise they say... "chortled Chichi as Nick approached them.
"...that´s the stupidest thing I ever heared..."giggled April as Nick stopped ahead of her.
"No one makes fun of the Brotherhood of the Wise."he growled, his bullying blood boiling, teeth bared and eyes burning in anger under his sunglasses.
Chichi sobered instantly, knowing Nick by now. But he didn´t expect him actualy try to do what he suspected he might do. But he did. He raised his hand and tried to slap April. Before he could do so however, Chichi grabbed his hand just centimeters from April´s cheek and the two started to fight. The fight lasted for a few seconds, as several punches were traded Chichi delivered a strong one in Nick´s stomache. As Nick doubled over, Chichi proceeded to pin him to the ground, holding his elbowed against his neck, adding pressure to his windpipe.
"YOUR MOTHER NEVER TAUGHT YOU NOT TO HIT A GIRL?"he roared as he was slowly adding more pressure and Nick was starting to choke.
Tex and Archie made to go an help him, but were stopped by Liam and Oliver, who didn´t want the fight to continue.
"LISTEN TO ME, NICK! IF I EVER SEE YOU TRY AND LAY A FINGER ON APRIL AGAIN, I´LL SEND YOU INTO THE HOSPITAL! DO YOU UNDERSTAND?"yelled Chichi, adding more pressure to Nick´s windpipe making sure that he got the point.
"CHICHI! THAT´S ENOUGH!"screamed April, quickly grabbing Chichi´s shoulder and pulled him back, for Nick was starting to turn blue.
As soon as Chichi released him, Nick started to gasp for air and spat out some blood. April kept a firm hold on Chichi´s arm. Tex and Archie rushed to Nick´s side.
"Get that asshole out of my sight!"commanded Chichi menacingly.
The two turned, but decided to comply. They didn´t want to fight Chichi and Oliver looked ready to join in too.
"You wait... I´ll get you for this, Tofu."gasped Nick in a strained voice, as he was still gasping for air, before the trio exited the playground.
"Chichi, you´re bleeding."exclaimed Chloe.
It was true. Nick got a lucky shot and hit his nose, which was now oozing blood like crazy.
April quickly made him sit down on a bench and took a hankerchief and started to apply it to his nose.
"Chichi, you didn´t have to fight him."she said quietly as she scanned the briuses on his face.
"No way in hell I´m letting that asshole lay a finger on you. Not when I´m around."said Chichi, his voice slightly higher due to the hankerchief on his nose.
"My hero."said April in a sweet voice before kissing him on the forehead.
Chichi´s face went completly red, as April giggled. The boys smiled and chuckled, the girls let out a few "Awws" and Chloe exclaimed "How cute." before winking at April, who giggled happily as Chichi tried to regain his composure.
"Ok... asshole brotherhood aside now, I need to know what have you fed your pets over the last day. Whatever is causing the food poisoning must be in the food."
"So your investigation failed."said Wiseman thoughtfully as the trio explained what had happened.
"If the soy-brain hadn´t beaten Nick, we could´ve gotten more information."said Archie as he applied an ice-pack to Nick´s face, which was bruised badly from one of Chichi´s numerous punches.
"Young Chichi is obviously trying to cover up his actions."murmured Wiseman.
The trio didn´t bother to tell Wiseman exactly why Nick and Chichi fought.
"Nevermind my brothers. We can extract information in another way."
Wiseman moved to his table and dialed a number on the phone.
"Lieutenant, I order you and your men to round up the owners of the sick pets. Yes among the police too. I want them in the interrogation room before the end of the day."
Ending the call, he turned to the younger trio, who smiled broadly.
"You will help me interrogate. We will find out everything we can."
And so over the course of the day, they spent time interogating many adult people at once. Archie was busy writing everything down, while Tex served coffee and snacks, slipping on the floor as he brought in the trail and landing on the ground with the hot coffee spilling over him. Nick and Wiseman asked numerous questions about the mysterious sickness and the Tofu´s vet station.
"Those poor people suspect nothing at all. How could the Tofus poison the pets though."wondered Wiseman as they went over the data from the interrogation.
He looked over on his bulletin-board, which had several pictures of the Tofu house and pictures of Pop and Chichi building the cages, or photos of the others feeding the animals.
"It must be that stuff they´re feeding them."said Archie pointed out as he looked at what he´d written down.
"This ´Herb recipe´ of theirs. It has to be it."
Wiseman turned to them.
"That´s it! Perfect insight ..."he checked the names written on his hand.
"...Archie. We are going to the Tofu house."
"So it must be in the pet food."Chichi explained as everyone was sitting in the kitchen.
"That explains, why many other pets are healthy. Like Cherie´s cat, as I hear she only feeds her the finest meat."said Billy scratching his head, happy that they were getting somewhere.
"So what do we do now?"asked Lily, who came as soon as she arrived home an hour ago.
"D´you think we could have the pet food analyzed to find out exactly what´s wrong with it?"asked April.
"If we are to solve this, we probably have to."said Lola, sitting next to Billy.
"I... I can call Swallowsky in Megacity... call in a small favour. The old dude ows me in any case."said Miles as he raised his face from the pot of the Herb recipe, licking his lips.
"That´s perfect. You´re the best, Miles."exclaimed Lily and Phil who was sitting next to her nodded.
"By the way, I am happy that you like our Herb recipe, Miles."giggled Mom as Miles dug into the pot once more.
"Yeah... I have to thank you for this, Mom Tofu. This stuff is amazing. And at least I´ll be healthy."he said pointing to himself and Chichi chuckled.
"With the number of cigarettes you smoke every day, I very much doubt that."
The gang all laughed.
"In the meantime, people should be informed that they should only feed natural products to the pets who are still healthy."commented Pop.
"Then we have to trace the factory which is making this poison. And make them pay dearly for hurting our beloved little friends."said Amyas all fired up.
"The EPO will certainly be of much help in this."commented Buba.
"All that´s left is to go buy the pet food."said Lola.
"I´m sure Mr Outwild will happily give us some of his. He wants the situation resolved as much as everyone does."said Billy.
"That is pleasant to hear."came a voice from the newly opened front door.
Detective Wiseman and the brainless trio were standing in it.
"Get that idiotic asshole out of our house, Wiseman before I do it myself."growled Chichi pointing to Nick as he stood up.
"Chichi, no!"warned April as she quickly chaught his arm.
Lola, Lily, Phil, Billy and Miles looked at them curiously.
"Later."said Chichi quietly before returneing his gaze at the uninvited visitors.
"I would like to see you try, Tofu."sneered Nick.
"If you want to end up in the hospital that badly, far be it for me to dissapoint."he said menacingly.
Billy swiftly held Chichi´s other hand firmly, before he could leap across the table.
"What is going on here?"asked Pop looking from one side to the other.
"We have reached a small conclusion regarding the pet case."said Wiseman.
"Oh that is great, detective. We have solved the puzzle and found that the pet food sold in Beauvillage´s stores is the cause of the food poisoning."said Mom happily.
Wiseman and the trio looked extremely stricken.
"You mean its not that green stuff?"exclaimed Wiseman pointing to the pot on the stove.
"Dude, if it really were poison would I be eating it?"asked Miles with a happy smile, his face smirched in the green substance.
"Who knows how your organism works, criminal."said Wiseman as though defending his point.
"He´s been eating it since Sunday. He would´ve surely be sick by now if it was the cause of food poisoning."said Lily defending Miles staunchly.
"That´s just our Herb recipe detective. Its full of vitamins and soothes the digestive system."explained Mom.
"You can have some of it too, detective. Its really good."said Buba as she moved towards Miles and reached out her hand for the pot.
Miles however moved the pot away from her and pouted like a 5 year old child.
"No way! Mine! This juicy stuff is only mine."he said as though it would kill him to separate from it.
This drew laughs from Billy, Lily, Phil, April, Mom, Amyas, Pop and Buba, while the brotherhood looked bewildered.
"Oh for crying out loud, Miles! Stop acting like a child and hand it over!"commanded Lola in exaspiration.
Miles fixed her with a look and shook his head defiantly in a child-like manner, drawing another round of laughter, to which even Chichi joined in.
"Now, Michael, hand it over and I will make you another batch right away."said Buba softly as though explaining something to a little boy.
Miles´ face turned to her slightly and he fixed Buba with a suspitious stare still pouting.
"You promise?"he asked childishly once more drawing laughter.
"Yes Michael. I promise."said Buba between her giggles.
Miles´ face suddenly sported the brightest smile as he hurried towards Wiseman handing him the half-eaten pot.
"Here ya go, Wisey-old boy. Enjoy it."he exclaimed jovially clapping Wiseman on the shoulder nearly knocking the pot from his hands.
The others ended up in a fit of laughter. Lily even lay her head on the table shaking in uncontrollable giggles. Even Lola laughed begrudgingly.
"You are terrible, Miles. Seriously."she giggled shaking her head.
"But its very adorable."said Lily between the giggles.
Miles laughed sheepishly and blushed.
"Aww, Lil. You´re making me blush."he said to her and now it was Lily´s turn in blushing.
"Oh brother."muttered Lola.
"Well seňor detective. Anything else?"asked Miles.
Wiseman looked very stricken and his three cohorts were looking at him, expecting his orders.
"Yes... yes... we will have that tested... and we´ll see. But mark my words, any evidence of foul-play and I´ll be there."he said exiting the house.
"Well. Now that that is over with, lets get to our tasks."said Amyas.
"But first... Buba, you promised."said Miles with a pout again.
"All right, come with me my young lamb. You can help me cook it."said Buba warmly and Miles nodded smilingly.
"You gotta be kidding."murmured Lola holding a hand to her forehead.
"Let´s go to the yard. We will explain what happened."said April.
Nodding the teens exited the kitchen.