A/N: Hello! I recently went on a nostalgia trip, which involved searching my basement for the Cluefinders game and anything related to them online. It led to this fanfiction.
It was a warm Saturday evening in early June. Inside the clubhouse, the Cluefinders were finishing their homework before their sleepover party. Since final exams were coming up, the four kids spent less time solving mysteries and more time studying. But that didn't mean they couldn't hang out together in other ways.
Owen looked up from his trigonometry notes, which were scattered across his sleeping bag. "Hey Joni, when is that pizza gonna get here?"
Leslie, who had already completed her homework and was doing some light reading, looked up from her book The Sailor's Handbook: A History and Guide to Navigating the Open Sea, and rolled her eyes.
"Owen, that's the seventh time you've inquired about our take out meal in the past half hour. Can't you focus on anything else besides food?"
The hip member of the team grinned sheepishly and shrugged his shoulders. "Sorry Les, all these hard math problems are making me really hungry."
"Don't worry, it should be here in about ten minutes. Hey Santiago, how's that videophone coming along?" The redheaded team leader turned to her best friend, who was at his workstation modifying the two red communication devices they used on their adventures.
"Almost done. I just need to rearrange these wires….there!"
The tech savvy member grinned triumphantly as he put down his work equipment and held up the newly altered phone.
"Twice as energy efficient, covers longer distances, and resistant to high altitude drops, scratches and flames." He ended his sentence with a smile at Joni, who looked away in embarrassment. A few weeks earlier, she had accidently knocked one of the videophones lying on her windowsill right into the bonfire below in the backyard. S'more night had never been more interesting.
"I'll start working on the second one after I finish my history essay on—what the…?"
He turned around to see an owl perched on the tree house window. The bird turned its head back and forth and glanced around the room, observing each of the kids with its large round eyes,
"Hey, cool! An owl," said Owen, who finally had something to distract him from his hunger, and his homework.
"Hmmm, based on my observations, it looks like a Long-eared Owl," said Leslie. "This one seems really peculiar though. It has grey eyes instead of the usual gold or orange."
"Who cares? I bet it's hungry like me." Owen walked towards the window and reached out a hand. "Hey dude, do you want some—AAAHH!"
The owl had let out a loud screech and then flew into the room. Chaos took over during the next fifteen seconds. Owen, startled by the owl's sudden aggression, backed into Leslie and sent them both crashing to the floor. The ceiling lamp swung back and forth due to the impact. Papers flew everywhere. Various objects teetered on the edge of the shelves before tumbling to the ground. The club's telescope fell off its mount and began rolling across to the other side. Finally, the owl found its way out through the window, but not before snatching the videophone that Santiago worked hard on from the desk with its razor sharp talons.
"Oh no, it's got the videophone," cried Santiago.
Joni grabbed her yellow backpack from the corner and started climbing down the ladder. "Come on Cluefinders, after it!"
Laptrap was in a good mood. It had been more than two months since the team went on some perilous, life-risking adventure. Now that the kids were occupied with schoolwork, things were much more peaceful and quiet. He found himself humming a little tune as he flew to the clubhouse with the pizza that was delivered seconds ago.
"Aah, what a beautiful sunset," he sighed. "Alright kids, pizza's here. Come and get it while it's still hot!"
He entered the room, only to be greeted with silence and an appalling sight. The pizza box slipped off of his mechanical hand and landed to the ground. But the Turbo Turtle did not seem to notice or care, as he was busy staring at the scene before him at a loss for words.
The clubhouse was a mess. Clothes, books, pencils, and pieces of paper laid everywhere. A paper cup was tipped over the edge of a desk, its liquid contents spread all over the floor, dangerously close to some computer wires. He saw the club's stargazing telescope wind up on the opposite side of the room, next to Owen's skateboard and an open bag of chips. Joni's pair of binoculars, which were usually placed on a small side table, were on the ground near Santiago's work tools. A couple of feathers rested on top of them.
Laptrap could feel his circuits overloading with frustration as he frantically searched around for any clues as to where the missing kids might have gone.
"Not again! I leave for a few minutes, and they're off once more to some underground plant world! Why must this keep happening?!"
Luckily for the robot companion, his search did not last long. He looked out the window to see the Cluefinders in the distance chasing after some large bird.
"Hey, wait for me!" he yelled.
The last of the sun's rays were peeking out from the horizon by the time Laptrap was able to catch up with the four of them. He saw that the bird was an owl and had one of Santiago's videophones.
"Guys, slow down!"
His pleas were unanswered as the Cluefinders ran after the owl, which flew into the woods that were at the edge of their town.
"It's heading into the forest, hurry!" Joni exclaimed.
"Joni wait, it's getting really dark. We won't be able to see very well. Maybe we can come back tomorrow and find it," said Santiago.
"Don't worry, we're almost catching up to it. We'll be fine."
This unfortunately turned out to be false. Several minutes later, they found themselves surrounded by trees with no owl to be seen. The sun had already set, and it was becoming increasingly difficult to see.
"Ok, now what do we do?" muttered Owen.
Joni looked through her backpack. "Oh no, I must have left the flashlight back at the clubhouse. Laptrap, turn on your lights."
"What? Right now?" the exhausted Turtle complained. "After all that flying, I'm really running low on my batteries."
He was met with four sets of glares. Grumbling about how kids should treat their Turbo Turtles better, Laptrap flicked on his lights. Two bright beams pierced through the darkness.
"Look over there," Santiago pointed a few feet away. It was the red videophone, lying on a small tree stump. He hurried over, picked it up, and examined it.
"It still works. No scratches or any other real damage."
"That's a relief," said Laptrap. "Now let's get out of here. This place is giving me the creeps."
"Uhhh yeah, about that Laptrap. How do we get out of here?"
It was at that moment that everyone realized Owen had a point. They were so focused on getting back the videophone they hadn't noticed how deep into the woods they ended up in.
"Hmm…" Joni thought for a second. "I'm pretty sure we came from this way. Or was it that way?"
"Oh dear," Laptrap groaned. Suddenly the idea of getting stuck again with underground talking plants didn't seem too bad after all.
"Not to exacerbate our predicament, but it appears that some condensed ground level water vapor is coming in," Leslie noted.
Sure enough, a layer of fog began materializing around the Cluefinders. It was thick enough to prevent them from making out their surroundings and eventually each other.
"I can't see a thing," Joni lamented.
"Ow! Someone stepped on my foot."
"Sorry Les, that was me."
"Joni, where are you?"
The team leader listened carefully and reached out her hand towards the direction Santiago's voice was coming from. She felt the sleeve of his jacket and then his hand and grabbed it.
"Come on, we've got to stick together. Leslie! Owen! Follow my voice."
The four of them reunited together, but they were missing Laptrap. Luckily, it didn't take them long to notice a bright orb of light hovering in the distance.
"Laptrap, over here!"
Laptrap flew over to them. "Thank goodness. I was beginning to think that I'd never find you guys. The fog is so thick that you could cut it with a knife."
"Perhaps we should stay put until the fog dissipates. It would be too risky to wander off now," Leslie suggested.
"Good idea Leslie," agreed Joni.
The minutes dragged on, and after what seemed like an age...
"Hey look, the fog's clearing away," noted Santiago.
"Music to my years," Laptrap remarked. "Now can we please leave this place?"
"Don't worry Laptrap, we'll find a way out," Joni reassured him.
With Laptrap's searchlight, they continued their path through the woods. All of a sudden, Owen spoke up.
"Hey, I can see daylight!"
"Oh joy," said Laptrap, relieved he didn't have to waste any more energy.
"But that's impossible," Leslie frowned. "The sun set at least an hour ago. We couldn't have been lost here for the whole night."
"That's right," Santiago said as he checked his pocket watch. "It's only 8:30. What's going on?"
Nonetheless, faint rays of the sun shone through the trees, which allowed the Cluefinders to walk around and explore their surroundings.
"This is weird," muttered Joni. "I don't remember the trees around here being this tall or big."
Leslie bent down to examine the plants "And these types of flora are definitely not native to this region. They're more suited to colder climates."
"Speaking of that, is it getting a bit chilly, or is it just me?" asked Santiago as he zipped up his jacket.
"You're right," Joni rubbed her arms with her hands. "Wait a minute, where did Owen go?"
"He was right next to us a few seconds ago. He shouldn't be too far."
"Oh no, I hope not," fretted Laptrap.
"Hey dudes, over here!"
They turned around to see Owen several yards away from them. He was standing on a small mound of earth and waving at them to get their attention. Once his friends joined him, he pointed downward at the thing that lay at the bottom of the hill that caught his attention. The Cluefinders fell silent as they saw what it was. Finally, Owen spoke.
"Yeah, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore."
Stay tuned for the next chapter to see what they've found!
A/N: From this point forward the story will contain elements from Game of Thrones and Legend of Zelda, both which I am a fan of. I would've labeled this fic a crossover except I won't be using the exact same characters and settings. (More like Expys/characters that share similar personalities but are different in name.)