Written By Aahana Chakrabarty (Grade 6)
The next day, there was a big paragraph called “The Incident in the Main Lab” in the newspaper. It said:
“It was discovered yesterday afternoon that an important potion has disappeared. It is decided that a person working in or for the lab is the thief or a member of the thief’s gang. Many detectives are asked to investigate this incident. Michael Wolfer made some inquiries to help with this case. This incident has deeply affected the work of the lab in the past six months. None of the detectives have been able to make head or tail of this terrible incident. The potion was made with a small portion of the legendary fire. It was being specially made for keeping the fire under control after its problem with Willson Dane. The lab will not resume its work until the potion is found. Anyone with any information about this unfortunate loss will be requested to inform the Orndator.”
Below this, there was an image of the potion. It was red, with gas coming from its surface. It looked dangerous for anyone to drink.
Will read all this slowly, not missing any detail.
‘Who is an Orndator?’ he asked his father.
‘An Orndator is a Velenton word for prime minister,’ answered his father.
‘Prime minister,’ repeated Will.
‘Well, not exactly. Though like a prime minister,’ his father said.
‘That’s Michael, right? ‘asked Will.
‘This lab, the main one, was making a potion,’ Will asked.
‘Yes, a very important one too,’ said his father. ‘If it goes in the wrong hands, we will be in a lot of trouble.’
‘We, you mean me, mom, and you.’
‘No, Will, I mean Velentice,’ explained his father patiently.
The door opened and Will’s mother came in. Her face was as white as paper. Behind her came two men. They both wore suits. One was a stern-looking person who had bright green eyes with curly red hair. The second was a fair-haired man who looked tough. They were both led into the room by Mrs. Dane. Willson surveyed the men. They came to the dining table.
‘We are extremely sorry to disturb you like this sir,’ said the stern guy. ‘But we want to check if your son had anything to do with the theft of the potion.’
‘I am confident my son has nothing to do with it,’ said Will’s mother, suddenly stern.
‘But we have to be completely sure, ma’am,’ said the other man coolly.
‘We will only take a few minutes of your son’s time’ the stern-looking man. ‘Please take us to another room, Willson.’
Will got up and led the men to the living room. The three each took one of the armchairs.
‘Good morning, Willson, we, as I have already mentioned, we have come to make certain inquiries,’ the stern man said. ‘My name is Simon, and this is my colleague, Dick.’
‘Ok, but I didn’t have anything to do with the theft,’ said Will. ‘I didn’t even know what the situation was until I read today’s newspaper!’
‘You didn’t know what the situation was,’ Dick repeated. ‘You already knew something had happened?’
‘Yes, I knew there had been an incident in the main lab,’ answered Will.
‘And how exactly,’ asked Simon.
‘Because I was with Michael,’ replied Will. ‘I was beside him when he was informed that something had happened in the main lab.’
‘By Michael, do you mean Orndator Wolfer,’ asked Simon.
Simon and Dick looked at each other.
‘For how long were you with Wolfer,’ Dick asked, for the first time in a soft and polite voice.
‘For about half an hour or so,’ said Will, unsure. ‘I don’t know the exact time, never checked.’
‘Is the Orndator friendly with you,’ asked Simon.
‘Yes, he is very friendly,’ said Will happily. ‘I like him.’
‘Did he come here after the incident?’ said Dick.
‘No,’ said Will.
‘Ok,’ said Simon. ‘We are going to search your house for any signs of the potion.’
‘Fine, good luck,’ said Will.
The men got up and left the room. Will sauntered out of the room. His mother was waiting for him in the kitchen.
‘What did the men ask you,’ she said.
‘Nothing much, just where I was when the incident happened and stuff like that,’ replied Will.
‘Now they are searching the house?’ his mother asked, listening to the noise coming from upstairs.
‘Yes,’ answered Will. ‘And they won’t find anything.’
‘I know,’ said his mother. ‘Go to your bedroom now Will. We must go to the H.V.F at 3 today.’
‘OK,’ said Will as he went upstairs and towards his room. Two minutes after he had reached his room, Simon and Dick entered. They saw Will and nodded. Simon searched the corners while Dick searched the middle part of the room. After they had found no sign of the potion, they asked Will to stand up and let them check the bed. Dick even checked if Will had hidden it in his pockets.
‘There is no sign of the missing potion in your house,’ said Dick, though still looking suspicious.
‘Because I never even saw it until in the papers today,’ said Will. ‘And how could I steal it while being under the Orndator’s eye.’
‘There are many ways you could,’ replied Simon. ‘If you are doing this, then confess straight away and your punishment won’t be as bad as the one you will get if you don’t.’
‘You have to find proof first, don’t you,’ said Will, knowing it was no use saying he didn’t do it.
‘Yes, we do,’ said Dick.
‘Then I am in no trouble,’ said Will.
Dick looked irritated. Simon just nodded and headed outside the door. They both went down to the kitchen and Will heard them speak to their mother. He couldn’t hear what but imagined they were informing her too, that they could not find the potion. The day passed on until it was finally a quarter to three. Will had been driven to a large building at least twenty floors high. It was good-looking as well as business-like. It had a thin layer of an almost transparent, curious green fog surrounding it. Will, with his parents, walked towards a guard standing outside the fog. Will’s father gave him the cards Oliver had given them. The guard took the card and, after reading the message on it, put one of his fingers at the bottom of it. Immediately, the top of the card opened, creating a tiny pocket-size folder. The guard turned this card-folder upside down on top of his hand. A small piece of rectangular paper slowly fell on it. He read the piece of paper and then put it back in the card-folder. He put his finger on the bottom again, and the card closed itself. The guard gave it back to Mr. Dane and turned toward the fog. He lifted his hand up to his desk and put a ring on his finger. The ring was made of metal, but on the top of it was a stone as green as the fog. Then the guard walked straight through the fog. When he had passed, it formed a hole in the fog. The hole got a little bigger and Will with his family passed through. They went towards the building. The guard was standing in front of them.
‘There will be another guard standing near the entrance,’ he said. ‘He will call someone to show you the way. Good day.’ And with that, he went back to the fog and disappeared. Will and his parents walked towards the other guard. He nodded at them and had a short conversation with a man beside him. The man had short blonde hair with the same black suit. He had blue eyes and a serious face.
‘Please follow me,’ said the man, after the conversation was done. He led them inside the building. The building was beautiful. It was white from the inside and made with marble. There were people in suits everywhere. On the right and left corners were lifts. On the sides were two desks with one guard sitting on each. In the middle, there was a white pillar with a screen. The screen told the visitors where they must go. Will and his parents went towards the pillar. There were three options on the screen: Guest, suspect, and worker. Will’s mother pressed the “suspect” button. When she did so, there came 5 options: very low, low, middle, high, very high.
Will looked at his mother, confused.
‘What does it mean by very low, low, middle, high, and very high?’ he asked.
‘They mean the situation, Will,’ answered his mother. ‘We know what to do. It was written in the
She pressed the very high option. The screen asked for their card. Will’s father removed it and placed it on an empty rectangular box on the screen. There came one line on the screen.
“6th floor, room 21, C”
The man guiding them, who had looked on quietly, looked curiously at Will.
‘I’ll show you the way,’ he said. ‘Please follow.’
He went inside the right lift. Will and his parents followed him. Many people also entered the lift. There were many buttons on the right. The man pressed the button for the sixth floor while the rest of the people chose theirs. They went out of the lift when the sixth floor came. Will looked around. The walls were white like the rest of the building. In front of the lift, there was a line of black doors. The man went to the left side, towards a wide-open place. The walls now ran in a circle with the black doors spread around. A guard was sitting in the middle of the place. At the end of the room, there was a blue door. The man went towards it. Will and his parents followed silently. Their guide knocked the door and opened it. Inside the door, there were people in seats which were in a half-circle with a thin table made to stretch in a semi-circle in front of them. In front of them were three people sitting on chairs with amazing height. There was a table a little shorter than the chairs in front of them. The person in the middle had a higher chair and table than the other two. Will could not see their faces properly as they all were leaning on the chair. Each person had a piece of paper and a pen in front of them. In the middle of the room, there was a chair for Will. The man and Will’s parents faded in the shadows, leaving Will alone with the other Velentons.
‘Sit down, please,’ a woman on the chair in the side said.
Will walked towards the chair in the middle and sat down.
‘You are Willson Dane?’ asked a man on one of the high chairs beside the main one.
‘Did you know about Velentice and the fire when you were on Earth,’ he asked.
‘You knew nothing at all?’
The Velentons started scribbling something down on the sheets of paper in front of them.
‘Michael Wolfer, the Orndator, knows this,’ said Will.
‘I surely do,’ said a familiar voice. It was coming from the person sitting on the highest chair in the room.
‘Michael?’ said Will.
Michael stopped leaning on the chair and looked down at Will. Will was very happy to see Michael’s friendly face.
‘Are you sure the boy can be trusted, sir?’ asked the man, looking at Michael with respect.
‘Yes, Peter, I trust Willson,’ said Michael calmly.
‘I have heard you went to see the fire recently, Willson Dane,’ said a woman on the tall chair on the right side of Michael. ‘How did the fire react to your presence?’
‘I have seen the reaction of the fire, Rosa,’ said Michael before Will could answer. ‘It was slightly different. Could be an improvement.’
The woman, Rosa, opened her mouth, hesitated, and closed it.
‘How many places have you visited in Velentice, Willson?’ Michael asked.
The people in the room looked nervously at Michael. The question seemed quite casual.
‘Only one,’ answered Will.
‘And that would be the hospital,’ said Michael. ‘Am l right?’
‘Sir, he may be lying,’ said a woman on one of the chairs on Will’s left. ‘He is the only person with a suitable reason to steal the Heftrick potion.’
The Heftrick potion, thought Will. That must be the name of the potion stolen from the main lab.
‘Willson, do you have anything to say about this?’ asked Michael.
‘Yes, two people came to my house today and questioned me,’ Will said. ‘Furthermore they searched the house but found no sign of the missing potion.’
‘You know about the missing potion?’ asked Rosa.
‘Yes, I do,’ said Will. ‘It was in the newspaper.’
‘Did you know anything about this potion before reading the newspaper?’ asked Peter.
‘What all do you know about this potion?’ asked Michael in a serene voice.
‘I know that it is important for the main lab. It was made with a small portion of the fire, and it helps control the fire.,’ said Will.
‘Do you know why you are suspected, Willson?’ asked Michael.
‘Because if I have the potion then l can control the fire’s behavior towards me and act as if the incident that happened when l was a baby was only a mistake,’ answered Will.
‘That is correct,’ said Michael. ‘You are also the only one with a good reason to steal the potion.’
‘Mr. Wolfer’ said a man with a deep voice sitting on a chair on the right side of Will. ‘He said all this without hesitation, surely it would have taken the boy a moment to think if he had been innocent.’
‘Liam, the fact that Willson said all that without hesitation it could help both the sides. It shows he is innocent and at the same time says he is the thief. You only look at the one which helps prove he is the thief. Have you figured out how it is also defending him?’
The man went silent.
Michael opened some files that were there on his table.
‘I have you school reports from Earth, Willson,’ he said. ‘They say you are a very good student. A smart one.’
‘Orndator, the boy being clever may not be nice,’ said the Rosa.
‘May not,’ agreed on Michael. ‘But this may be good too. Smart people make smart choices.’
‘Yes, but…,’ said Rosa.
‘Rosa, we can’t judge that before time,’ said Michael.
Judge what,’ thought Will.
‘He is attentive, optimistic, curious, and patient,’ continued Michael. ‘He does not have friends for a reason the teachers have been trying to figure out but have had no luck for the past week.’
Michael stopped reading and looked at Will.
‘Doesn’t have a friend,’ he said. ‘Why?’
‘I don’t know,’ said Will. ‘They just think I am mysterious. Very different from them.’
‘Different from them,’ repeated Michael. ‘Now Velentons fit in quite well with earthlings. Earthlings never think we are different. This is surprising. Did anything unusual ever happen in the school?’
‘No,’ answered Will.
‘Hmm,’ said Rosa. ‘A little suspicious.’
Michael turned his attention to the papers.
‘But he will become a successful man,’ Michael continued. ‘Overall, good reports.’
‘But the friend issue might be serious, Orndator,’ said Peter.
‘We will just have to figure it out. It may have a very simple explanation,’ said Michael calmly.
‘Willson, did you go for any classes except for school,’ asked Rosa.
‘Anything else that you did on Earth,’ she asked.
‘No, nothing important.’
‘Any interests that you had?’
‘None,’ said Peter. ‘None at all.’
‘No,’ said Will. ‘Not if you count watching plants bloom.’
‘Okay,’ said Rosa. ‘How did you feel about coming to Velentice.’
‘Excited,’ answered Will.
‘Anything else,’ asked Peter.
‘Maybe a little curious.’
‘Do you know your gift,’ asked Rosa.
‘Anything that might help you to know it?’ she asked.
‘Okay.’ Rosa signed.
‘Willson are you afraid of the fire?’ asked Michael.
‘No,’ answered Will.
‘Not at all,’ he asked.
‘What are your opinions of the fire?’ asked Michael.
‘I think it is mysterious,’ said Will.
‘Mysterious,’ repeated Rosa slowly. ‘True, very true. The fire is subtle.’
‘Does that mean you don’t know anything about the reaction of the fire when you were born,’ asked Michael.
‘Interesting,’ he said. ‘One would expect you to know something.’
‘But I am new to Velentice,’ said Will. ‘I don’t know much about the fire.’
‘You may be new, but I thought you might be able to find something in your past that could connect some dots,’ said Michael.
‘Willson, did you have anything that belonged to Velentice before you came here?’ said Rosa.
‘When did you get it,’ asked Peter.
‘When Michael had left my house on Earth my mother gave it to me,’ said Will.
‘Right after I left,’ asked Michael.
‘Yes,’ answered Will
‘What is it,’ asked Peter.
‘A flower,’ said Willson.
‘Of what kind,’ asked Rosa.
‘I don’t know its name,’ said Will. ‘But it is unique. A family heirloom.’
‘Must have lived for quite long,’ said Rosa.
Willson just nodded his head.
‘Is it the only thing you had,’ asked Peter. ‘Nothing else.’
Suddenly, the door swung open. Mr. and Mrs. Dane entered the room. Behind them came
a man who Will did not recognize. He had dark blue eyes with blonde hair. He was wearing a blue suit instead of a black one. His face was calm and stern.
‘Sir, we have come to take Willson,’ said Mrs. Dane, looking at Michael.
‘Certainly, but before that, we must question the parents,’ said Michael pleasantly.
‘Umm should l stay here or…,’ said Will
‘You may leave, Willson,’ Michael said. ‘Your parents will take you home in about fifteen minutes. Mike, please take Willson to the waiting room.’
‘Yes sir,’ said Mike, the man who had come with Willson’s parents. ‘Please follow me,’ he said to Will as he left the room.
‘Will looked at his parents who were looking slightly nervous and followed Mike. Mike was waiting for him outside and as soon as he saw Will he went towards the lift Will and his parents had come by before and waited for it to come. Will followed. Mike entered the lift with Willson at his heels and pressed the button with two on it. He smiled a friendly smile at Will as they went down. The fourth floor was identical to the sixth. Mike went right toward a locked door. He pulled out a key from his pocket and opened the door. Inside the door, there was a big circular room with a rectangular-shaped marble seat attached to the white walls. In the middle was a circular table coming up from the floor.
‘Sit down, Willson,’ said Mike.
Willson went towards the marble seat and sat down. Mike sat down beside him.
‘Must be hard for you,’ he said. ‘Coming to an unknown place knowing you are not welcome there.’
‘I’ll get you something to drink,’ said Mike as he got up and walked towards the circular table. He pressed a button on the middle of the table. Will, who had not noticed the button before, watched with interest. The table’s surface all around the button slowly went towards the ground while the walls of the table did not move. After hardly a few seconds, the missing table rose with a button on every side. Each was coloured differently.
‘What would you like,’ asked Mike, obviously used to disappearing tables.
‘Water,’ answered Will, looking curiously at the table.
Mike pressed a few buttons and the table disappeared again. It came up with two glasses filled with water.
‘Whoa,’ said Willson, amazed. ‘How did you do that. Is it a magic table or something?’
‘No, no,’ said Mike, laughing at Will’s amazement. ‘It is not magic at all.’
He crouched near the table.
‘Can you see the length of the table is descending as it reaches the floor,’ he said. That’s where it’s stored, the buttons ask what you want and how much. The table’s surface goes down and gets what you need.’
‘That’s amazing,’ said Will. ‘Is there more stuff like this on Velentice?’
Mike nodded as he rose and walked towards Willson. He sat down and looked at him.
‘Yes,’ he said.
‘How come the stuff Velentons invent is so similar to the ones earthlings do,’ asked Will.
‘That because many Velentons frequently go to Earth and see these inventions. We make our version too,’ said Mike.
‘Why do they go there,’ asked Willson.
‘Because we need to check everything is all right at Earth and no one suspects anything,’ said Mike.
‘Why don’t we just tell them.’
‘Because we don’t know if they will like it. They might start a war. We don’t want to risk it.’
‘How did we come to know about earthlings?’ asked Willson
‘You will learn that in your history class at school,’ said Mike.
Will stared at him.
‘I will have history in Velentice too!’
‘Of course, many things in Velentice may be common to the ones on Earth.’
‘What is the difference between them,’ asked Will. ‘I haven’t seen anything new except the table and the legendary fire.’
When Willson said, ‘legendary fire’, Mike’s expression turned thoughtful.
‘Before I answer your question Willson, may I ask you something,’ he asked quietly.
‘Yes?’ Willson regretted mentioning the fire.
‘Why, according to you, did the fire act so strangely when you were born?’ asked Mike. ‘You don’t seem like a devil or even a mischievous child to me.’
I don’t know why that fire had behaved so weirdly when I was born,’ said Will.
Mike looked thoughtfully at Willson.
‘Do you not kn-’ he said as there came a sudden ping noise from his suit pocket.
He removed a black pill-shaped object and smiled. He turned it so that Will saw the green and red buttons on the front side of the object. The green one was on the top part of the object while the red was at the bottom one. The red light was glowing very dimly while the green shone brightly. Mike pressed the green button and it started to glow as dimly as the red.
‘What’s that?’ asked Willson.
‘This, Willson, is an object which tells me what the H.V.F have decided,’ said Mike. ‘Can you guess what the green light means?’
‘The person is innocent,’ said Will.
‘Yes, and that also means I can tell you everything now,’ said Mike happily.
‘Tell me everything, what do you mean?’ asked Willson, perplexed.
‘Before corpnal was conducted, a man must have come to your house and talked to you about your school.’
What’s a corpnal?’ asked Will.
‘The meeting that you just came from is called corpnal in Velentice,’ said Mike.
‘Oh,’ said Willson. ‘And yes, a man did come and talk about my new school.’
‘Well, not everything he said was right,’ said Mike. ‘The school’s name is Phelver.’
‘Phelver,’ Will repeated. ‘Funny name.’
‘The word Phelver comes from foll, which means better, and vern, which means future,’ said Mike. ‘They are words taken from an ancient Velenton language.’
‘Oh,’ said Will. ‘And the man also did not specify on which day I will be going back to school. He only said it will be next week’
‘Yes,’ said Mike. Your school will not start next week but the week after.’
‘And why did the man give me false information,’ asked Willson.
‘That is because we have to first check if you are innocent,’ explained Mike. ‘We cannot give it too early.’
‘Makes sense,’ said Will.
Mike smiled. ‘Listen, Willson, if you are innocent then you have nothing to worry about. Just be good and things will automatically get all right. All this might be weird in the start but-’
At that moment the door swung open and the same woman who had informed Michael of the incident in the main lab hurried in.
‘Mike!’ she said. ‘The Orndator has called for you! Something just happened!’
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