Thursday, October 11, 2007

Ditto Club Murder Mystery (Full Summary)

Here, you can find an account of the first Ditto Story: the Ditto Club Murder Mystery. Below, in blue, you can find a paragraph-long summary of the story, along with some few important points you should keep in mind for later stories. However, if you're more interested in the details, read on! The rest of it is summaries of many of the important segments/sections (as opposed to an overall summary) of the story.

Note from Rya: I would like some feedback on how this format works. I would like three people: someone familiar with this story, someone unfamiliar with this story but familiar with the other Ditto Stories, and someone completely unfamiliar with all of it. If you fit any of those and could read this over and tell me what you think, that'd be great!

From the person who knows this story: I'd really appreciate it if you could tell me if I summarized it well, if I have all the necessary points and/or if I have any extra ones, etc.

From the person who knows the Ditto Story (but not this one): If you could tell me if this helped you understand the story in consideration to the other ones, please let me know! I'd like to make the stories fluid with each other.

From the person unfamiliar with it all: If you could let me know if this was understandable for you, please do so! Part of the purpose is to help non-Dinklings understand the Ditto Story a little better. :)

Nessa, the Ditto Court Songstress and now Queen of Narnia, knighted the Good Sir Count Cor!, who turned out to be highly obsessed with taxes. During his knighting, it turned out he’s allergic to pollen. Not long after, someone killed Count Cor! using a flower, causing him to sneeze himself to death. While the townspeople were investigating it, the “Absolutely!” Man, who is a botanist, discovered that the flowers sprouting up all over Ditto Town are actually zombie flowers…but he was mysteriously kidnapped before he can reveal who designed them. To make things worse, not long after, the Newspaper Reporter Cor! became the prime suspect when he mysteriously vanished in the company of two minions, after acting strangely evilly over the previous few days! The Ditto Rider and Darth Devaricate, formerly divided by the Ditto/Original wars, united in order to discover the truth, and created the identities of Rochil and Salabis, two mysterious, armored women who come to town to help with the investigation. As it turns out, the Newspaper Reporter Cor! had been working for the Count No Dittos, an evil man who was behind all of it. Newspaper Reporter Cor! created the zombie flowers, and a sleep-inducing flower that, when combined with the zombie flower, had the potential to wipe out everything (according to the reporter). The Count No Dittos was also responsible for the death of the Good Sir Count Cor!, and the kidnapping of the “Absolutely!” Man, and was the one who commissioned the Newspaper Reporter Cor! to make the flowers. The Count No Dittos wanted to take over Ditto Town after the flowers wiped out most of the inhabitants, and he also wanted the Wand of Originality to help him in his quest to conquer. Ditto Rider finds the Wand, and also finds a note with a map to the Elves who made it. Eventually, she is found by them, and she gives it back to them. They arrange a posse to take the Castle. Thanks to help from the Elves and dwarves, they are able to rescue the “Absolutely!” Man (though the Reporter was killed in his attempt to stop the Count), and they captured the Count, who they sentenced to remain permanently in their prison.

Important notes for the next story: DD finds the Dittopian dwarves, Nessa meets a mysterious man she calls her “Scottish Minstrel”; Ditto Rider and DD make the Rochil/Salabis duo; Ditto Rider finds Elves near Ditto Town, including Gwanuig; Nessa and “Rock On!” Girl begin working together; the Count’s fortress remains standing.

Nessa, the Ditto Court Songstress, discovers that she is a Queen of Narnia, and goes about to knight Cor! (author of both Cor! and the “Absolutely!” Man) “Count Cor!”. During this knighting, the Good Sir Count Cor! discovers his (rather vicious) allergies to pollen. It is also discovered that he cares a great deal about taxes…and is a rather silly man.

baysingerboy nominates the “Absolutely!” Man for the Ditto Town mayoral election.

Darth Devaricate, the dealer of Death to All Dittos (and renowned Ditto Town “villain”), is exploring a cave when she hears a clanging noise. Eventually, she ends up walking away from the clanging noise, but ends up in a sunken garden---one she considers beautiful, and she discovers has OXLIS corniculata rubra, which has some significance to her plans which she does not disclose. The Ditto Rider, one of the members of the Ditto Patrol, is making her rounds when she decides to explore a mountain trail. During her exploration, she finds DD’s new garden, but chooses not to make her presence known. A while later, Friend of Ditto, another Ditto Patrol member, comes with her dinner, and they trade off so Ditto Rider can get some sleep. Just as Ditto Rider is about to leave, DD wakes up, and is startled to see that she’s been sleeping. She realizes that one of the flowers is sleep-inducing…and she sees Ditto Rider riding off. Coming up with an idea, she puts some of the sleep-inducing flowers into a bouquet for Ditto Rider. She approaches her, pretending (at least in part) to be thanking her for her kind treatment when DD was imprisoned (which occurred before the story began). She also asks Ditto Rider not to tell anyone where the garden is. Ditto Rider doesn’t promise, but she makes the mistake of smelling the flowers. DD knows that Ditto Rider won’t be able to remember where the garden is anymore.

DD collects some of the OXLIS corniculata rubra flowers, and on her way out, she finds a tunnel above her which leads to the clanging noise. She decided to investigate. She finds out what’s really going on: there are Dwarves in Dittopia in an underground forge! They discover her, but turn out to be very friendly, and end up making her a set of armor, and a sword to boot in return for her promise to keep their home a secret from the rest of the world. DD also makes a cape which should suitably disguise her from any observer. She then puts on the armor and cape, takes some of the OXLIS flower seeds, and rides towards town. DD rides into town unrecognized by anyone, since the armor, cape, and sunlight reflecting off the armor makes her appear so different. She throws the OXLIS seeds among Ditto flowers, hoping to choke them out, since OXLIS flowers can’t be removed by any known fertilizer, spray, or pesticide.

Ditto Rider goes back on patrol after a nap and realizes she hasn’t seen Friend of Ditto all day. She and Ditto Kitty, a friend of the Ditto Patrol, go looking for her, and when they find her, Ditto Rider realizes that DD put sleep-and-amnesia-inducing flowers in the bouquet. They leave behind a secret package and have Ditto Kitty guard it. The Manipulator of the Mundane (MM) considers bribing Ditto Kitty into giving it to her, but isn’t given a chance to do it before Ditto Kitty loses patience and rips open the package.

Ditto Rider arrives and, seeing that Ditto Kitty has torn open the package they left her with, goes to another package---apparently, the real one. It had a thermal camera inside, with which she finds out there’s been some movement in the tunnel near the garden. She informs Friend of Ditto that she’s going to investigate and does so. Friend of Ditto keeps in communication with their two-way radios the entire time. The Ditto Rider discovers the dwarves, but they are surprised to see her, since they promised DD no one else would be allowed down there. Despite her attempt to escape, Ditto Rider is caught and surrenders. They tie her up, but Ditto Rider had taken some of the sleep-inducing flowers, and taken some allergy medicine to make her immune earlier. She crushes the flowers and puts all the dwarfs to sleep. She contacts Friend of Ditto for help, who rescues her, and they both pick up some armor and weapons. They leave a suitable amount of money (Dittopian currency) to pay for them.

A press release announces that the first violent crime in all Dittopian history has occurred: the Count has been murdered! Apparently, the killer put an OXALIS corniculta rubra over his mouth and nose, and he sneezed himself to death. At first, it was thought to be a bad practical joke, until they discovered a Post-It note on the Count’s body, which read: "I have liberated the Ditto Club from tyranny! You cannot find me. You cannot trace me." The signature had been torn off, so they have no idea who killed the Count. Apparently, no one has any clues to offer…and no one really has a great amount of regret that he’s dead. Just about anyone could’ve done it.
The Deputy points out that MM terrorized Ditto Town almost immediately after the press release and uses that as evidence against her. MM is appalled and sends out evil hamsters to investigate---all under strict instructions to solely seek out the truth.

One of the dwarves wakes up DD and tells her of Ditto Rider and Friend of Ditto’s visit to their cave (though not by name), stating that the Dittopian currency they left was worthless to them, and that he’d heard about the Count’s death. DD realizes that, since the flower that was used to kill the Count is the same that grows in the sunken garden and the same she planted (and got all over her clothing), she and the dwarves would be prime suspects. The Dwarves decide to close off the tunnel to the vale, while DD burns the clothing she wore while she planted the flowers. DD thinks through the recent events, and has a feeling that something isn’t right, but she can’t put her finger on exactly what. She sends a letter to the Sheriff, informing him that both she and MM are on the case, and tells them that Ditto Rider has some of the flowers that were used to kill the Count (though she isn’t accusing Ditto Rider).

Friend of Ditto has been trying to analyze the flower from Ditto Rider’s bouquet, but hasn’t come up with anything useful. She decides to see the “Absolutely!” Man. On her way to the “Absolutely!” Man’s house, Friend of Ditto notices familiar-looking flowers among the Ditto flowers. Just after this, she arrives, and is greeted by the “Absolutely!” Man’s famous FLOWERS lecture…which she leaves in the middle of because she can’t get a word in edgewise.

Queen Nessa is out in the field again, singing, when a mysterious man goes by, singing. She hears him sing, “…but I did not shoot the deputy”, making her wonder if, perhaps, something has happened to the Sheriff. Concerned, she heads back to town, but on her way, she runs into the strange man again. He won’t tell her who he is, but instead, offers to take her to a festival with him. She doesn’t feel right about leaving Ditto Town in its time of need, however, so he leaves, but tells her she’ll see him again.

Ditto Rider finds one of MM’s hamsters, who has found a section of the torn Post-It note…which only has one letter on it. It was the letter “D”, written in green ink and cursive.

The “Absolutely!” Man goes through his findings: the flowers in question are, in reality, artificial flowers, which were designed to trigger some allergies, like the Count’s. Also, strangely enough, the flower dies almost immediately after blooming…and yet they’re spreading. The “Absolutely!” Man looks over the plants again, and comes to a horrifying discovery: Ditto Town is being infested by zombie plants! The “Absolutely!” Man suddenly realizes exactly who the murder is; someone so fiendish and frightening he feels that the Town will need to call on DD and MM! Unfortunately, before he can tell anyone who it is, he is kidnapped (believed to be by the same culprit(s) behind the Count’s murder) from his home! The Sheriff finds the “Absolutely!” Man’s notes, but the handwriting is so messy they can’t even tell what “zombies” is supposed to mean (they guessed “combies”).

DD comes back from a visit with her cousin and decides to sneak into town in order to buy a newspaper and get an update on what’s going on. On her way back, she thinks she hears a moaning sound, but dismisses it as wind. Upon her arrival, she hears from the dwarves that, a few hours, they heard loud hoof beats from an unknown source. DD reads the newspaper and finds out about the “Absolutely!” Man’s disappearance. She suddenly realizes she’s one of the few people who can help them trace the flower’s origin, but doing so would put her freedom and life in jeopardy. She tries to decide whether or not to risk it. DD realizes that the moaning she heard might’ve been the “Absolutely!” Man and goes to investigate. When she tries, however, someone knocks her down from behind, and informs her, "Thought you could get me, eh? Well, I have the "absolutely" man, and I almost had you. Watch out...or else." She goes back to the dwarves, who tend to her wound (whoever knocked her down left a gash in her back). Some of the dwarves go out to investigate.

Ditto Rider notices two men prowling around the “Absolutely!” Man’s house, and follows them to a cave when they leave. She ends up finding a dwarf named Narka-shen…who is caring for DD! She promises not to cause any trouble, and requests to stay until DD has woken. She is very startled to see the Rider when she awakens, and after a brief “What is she doing here?”, they begin to talk. (At the beginning, DD asks Ditto Rider for another name to call her, since she doesn’t want to have to say “Ditto”, so Ditto Rider suggests calling her Rochil, which is Elvish for “Rider”.) Ditto Rider explains how she ended up there, and proposes a temporary partnership. Ditto Rider and DD will work together to solve the Count’s murder/“Absolutely!” Man’s disappearance, and in return, Ditto Rider promises not to even try to take her in until after everything has been wrapped up. DD reluctantly agrees, as well as promising not to harm any of the townspeople during this time, but demands that Ditto Rider pays for the armor and weapons using gold, not Dittopian currency. Also, since someone has already threatened her life, DD wants a guarantee of protection. Ditto Rider agrees to her all terms. Ditto Rider and DD go to DD’s lab, where she begins to study the flowers a little more. Ditto Rider suggests that DD chooses a new name for her to call her so that no one suspects their partnership. DD, who recommends the name “Salabis” for her pseudonym, discusses ways of disguising themselves with Ditto Rider, and points out that Ditto Rider would need to make a new identity for herself as “Rochil” as well.

In a new press release, it’s announced that the Newspaper Reporter Cor! has disappeared…but it’s not being treated as kidnapping, but a clue. Apparently, he’d been exhibiting rather unusual behavior, such as laughing evilly to himself, before his disappearance, and left with two strange minions people had noticed around a bit after the Count’s death and “Absolutely!” Man’s disappearance. This is being regarded as an escape. It’s believed he created the flowers, but he’s not the mastermind. Also, the “Absolutely!” Man was able to send them a note by carrier pigeon, in which he clarifies that they’re zombies, not combies. However, he spent so much time on that he didn’t tell where he was being held, nor who was holding him.

While Rochil and Salabis are talking, however, the Sheriff appears, having followed them, and takes them both in for questioning. The MVP sees him bringing them in and asks about it. Ditto Rider is able to talk her way out of it to the point where she can call their horses, and they both make their escape. Ditto Rider discusses meeting again with DD, and explains her plan to Friend of Ditto. When DD and Ditto Rider return, they find that the Sheriff, Deputy, and some townspeople have already begun searching. However, Narka-shen and Gundur have already captured them, and they exposed them to the a short-term memory erasing substance, so they just needed to be led away. Ditto Rider takes them to Friend of Ditto, who leads them away, while DD takes care of the Sheriff’s car.

The MVP notices the Sheriff’s car come in and goes to investigate. As she does, she notices a dark figure. She tries to get his/her attention, and does…in the wrong way. (S)he grabs the MVP, whispers, “I’m not done yet”, then throws her aside. When the MVP recovers, the figure is gone.

“Rock On!” Girl comes into town, and passes by Queen Nessa, but thinks little of it (not knowing who she is). When she goes into town, she receives a sinister warning from a mysterious voice. When it’s over, she realizes that she can’t see anyone, and wonders if she imagined it…but she remembers the piercing eyes she saw and decides she couldn’t have imagined it. She goes to find the Ditto Court Songstress. As she does so, she notices the very beautiful flowers, and gets off her horse to pick one….

“Rock On!” Girl wakes up not in the meadow of flowers she’d been in earlier, but in the middle of a forest…and without her horse. The stranger from earlier reappears and tells her he pulled her out of the flowers because they were what put her to sleep, and would’ve killed her if he hadn’t rescued her. He tells her that he is the Newspaper Reporter Cor!, and she remembers that he’s a suspect in a murder mystery. She’s not sure if she can trust him, since he is a suspect, but he also saved her life. Just then, she hears the singing again, and debates whether or not to try to call out to the Songstress. The Newspaper Reporter Cor! hears the singing as well, and sees the Songstress is headed for the same patch of flowers. As he tries to stop her, he thinks over the terrible mistake he had made. Apparently, these sleep-inducing flowers could merge with the zombie-ones, and had the potential to wipe out the world. He feels regret over his actions, and decides to save Queen Nessa. He does, but she recognizes him very well.

Salabis (DD) and Rochil (Ditto Rider) go back to the “Absolutely!” Man’s house and investigate. Salabis picks up the “Absolutely!” Man’s notes and the shoot of the flower he was studying, which turns out to actually be a different flower than what she planted. While they’re investigating, Rochil gives Salabis the sign that someone is coming, and she tells Rochil to ride on without her. Salabis hides under the “Absolutely!” Man’s bed, just in case the person outside decides to come in.

Rochil comes back shortly to see what’s happening, and sees a strange man going through the “Absolutely!” Man’s things. She goes in to confront him, but as she tries, she’s suddenly shoved down to the floor, and the man makes his escape. Salabis comes out, and they decide to split up: Salabis goes after the man, while Rochil goes to the Town Square in order to post a note informing the town that they, as the mysterious armored riders, are only there to help solve the case. She then rides on, and as she does, she hears the Newspaper Reporter Cor!’s shouting and investigates. He confesses to her that he was the one who made the plants. Rochil collects a sample of the flowers, she suggests that they head back to town before riding off. “Rock On!” Girl and Nessa do that, but before they do, they make signs to warn everyone to avoid the flowers. However, when they’re done, the realize that the Newspaper Reporter Cor! is gone, and he took some of the flowers with him. They decide to go after him.

Rochil gives Salabis the sample she collected. After Salabis leaves with it, Rochil hears noises, and finds a man lying in the middle of the road…and she recognizes him as one of the men that was sneaking around the “Absolutely!” Man’s house. She questions him. Apparently, his name is Durling, and he works for the Count No Dittos, who is responsible for the death of the Good Count Cor! and the disappearance of the “Absolutely!” Man. Since he needs medical attention and the town needs answers, Rochil takes him to Friend of Ditto, who takes care of everything.

Nessa and “Rock On!” Girl split up, and Nessa ends up finding the Newspaper Reporter Cor!, who was trapped by non-human (or horribly mutated), warlike creatures. She rescues him, therefore paying her debt to him, but he doesn’t give her any answers about what he did with the flowers. Meanwhile, “Rock On!” Girl gets lost, and decides to stay in a cave for the night.

Salabis sees “Rock On!” Girl and goes out to prevent her from finding the secret tunnels. When she meets with her, she warns her about the pollen from the flowers in the meadow, and what effect it would have if it mixed with the zombie flowers. She asks for “Rock On!” Girl’s help, which she gets, and tells her to deliver a small glass container and the message “It is time.” She also told her to tell all the townspeople to close their doors and windows to prevent any outside air from getting in; she doesn’t clarify why, except that it could be deadly. “Rock On!” Girl does as she was asked.

Salabis goes out looking for Queen Nessa and the Newspaper Reporter Cor!, since they don’t know that it could be deadly for them to return before she’s done. She eventually finds a clearing, in which she sees several hideous creatures. Apparently, they know that someone is nearby. She manages to evade them, but while she makes her escape on Andur (her horse), she gets knocked out. Thankfully for her, it’s just outside MM’s hideout, and the Originalist gets her to safety. She sends a hamster to tell Rochil, and sends a few more to look for the Reporter and Songstress.

The creatures catch the Newspaper Reporter Cor! and take him back to Count No Dittos (despite the fact that he created them, they know treachery when they see it and were understood that he should see the Count). Count No Dittos becomes very angry with the reporter, and begins ranting about how he should be grateful for him saving the reporter’s life five years ago and giving him a chance to show the scientific community what he was made of. Because he feels that the reporter probably has committed “no great crime” and because he’s useful, he just locks him up with the “Absolutely!” Man. Just before the minions take him to his cell, the Count No Dittos tells him to find the Wand of Originality…and begins going on about what kinds of rewards he would receive. Also, a small evil hamster has seen the whole thing, and sneaks off.

Ditto Rider (not in her disguise) releases the antidote in Town, and leaves the job of watching the readings to Friend of Ditto. She goes back into her disguise, and is just in time to see Queen Nessa nearly enter the town while the antidote is still in the air. She tells her what’s going on, and Nessa tells her about the Newspaper Reporter Cor!, and tells her she can lead Rochil to where to find him.

DD wakes up and finds out that Rochil has released the antidote, and that the dwarves have let the Sheriff and Deputy go free, since they don’t feel it would be a good idea to hold them any longer. However, since the antidote levels are still at deadly levels, DD uses a device which would knock out the Sheriff’s car, preventing them from entering town before the antidote levels drop (and which let off some Originals fireworks).

“Rock On!” Girl suddenly realizes that when she was knocked unconscious by the flowers, she lost her horse, Rin, and he could be in danger. Apparently, they’ve shared many adventures together and she loves the horse, so she’s willing to risk the antidote levels to save him. Nessa decides to go with her.

Ditto Rider is riding when she sees a man she doesn’t recognize leading Rin, “Rock On!” Girl’s horse. She follows him, but when she sees he’s settling down, she explores the area…and finds trails with Elvish signs. Eventually, she finds the Wand of Originality, which she takes with her to protect it from falling into the wrong hands. Ditto Rider looks over the wand, and sees both warnings for anyone who might find and use the wand. Also, it has a note which is intended to lead whoever finds it to the Elves…but warns of tests to prove their worth. The next morning, as she packs up camp, Ditto Rider leaves a note in Elvish, telling them she will return. Ditto Rider runs into two of the Count’s minions, and during the fight, she gets shot in the arm with an arrow. She rides off, only to fall off her horse, unconscious…but she is rescued by two men dressed in green and brown. She awakens, and finds herself in the care of the Elves she was searching for. They ask her about the Wand, and she tells them her story. Ditto Rider talks to some of the Elves, and she meets Eruant, Gwanuig, and Melannen (“Matthew”, “Thomas”, and “David”, respectively, in English). Eruant and Gwanuig are the ones who rescued Ditto Rider, and Melannen is their father. Melannen offers her new, Elvish armor and weapons in return for her secrecy about the location of the Elves, and her promise not to return except when she is in her greatest need. Though saddened, she agrees.

Salabis meets up again with Ditto Rider, and informs her that the Elves, dwarves, and townspeople are all helping out in order to stop Count No Dittos. She feels personally motivated to stop him because she once worked for him, since at one point in time, they followed the same code. When he became corrupted and evil by the Wand of Originality, however, she stole it from him and hid it. Since then, he’s considered her a traitor, and she feels the need to redeem herself. DD decides that she would be the best person to rescue the “Absolutely!” Man and Newspaper Reporter Cor!, since she knows the fortress very well. She convinces Ditto Rider to lead the attack on the castle.

DD finds an evil hamster, which tells her that Ditto Rider has found has found the Wand. Concerned for the Rider’s safety, she rides out, hoping to find her….

Rastutin comes to get the “Absolutely!” Man, who begins to struggle with the choice whether to openly betray the Count, or to just go along with it. To make matters worse, Count No Dittos shows up and begins to rant about how he wants Rastutin to go after Ditto Rider to get the wand. Nessa suddenly feels she needs to pray for the Newspaper Reporter Cor!, but after she gets up, she begins to feel dizzy, and wonders if there was antidote residue on the ground which is making her sick….

“Rock On!” Girl is able to get Nessa to a stream, which seems to revive her. While they’re talking, Rin suddenly shows up. Apparently, the Count’s minions caught her, and the “Absolutely!” Man was able to send her back through an Elf-friend disguised as one of the Count’s minions. Apparently, Rin also knows the way back. As they’re about to set out, another horse comes up, who Nessa approaches. They both seem to feel like they’re meant for each other, so Nessa takes him and names him Gamgee.

“Rock On!” Girl and Nessa capture Curly and Bill, the two minions who Ditto Rider fought, and they get the whole story out of them. They get the location of the castle as well, and begin heading over there, with Bill and Curly tied to their horses (since they can’t risk leaving them tied up in the woods when any of the other minions can find them).

Despite DD’s insistence that she goes to the castle alone, Ditto Rider passes the responsibility of forming the Posse to “Rock On!” Girl and Nessa. She then rides back to the castle. Meanwhile, Friend of Ditto tells the Sheriff what Durling told her, and he rounds up a posse.

The Newspaper Reporter Cor! makes his choice, and lunges at Count No Dittos. He grabs the Count’s remote and presses the button, inadvertently unlocking the Serumen Beast…a huge, horrible monster, made entirely of earwax, which he was going to use for world domination. Just before fleeing, the Count stabs the reporter. The “Absolutely!” Man is just in time to hear the reporter’s dying words, which speak of how he deserved it, and how they should avenge him. After the reporter’s death, the “Absolutely!” Man looks for a way out…only to find that the Serumen Beast has blocked all the entrances.

Salabis is going through the tunnels, and she finds signs of the earwax monster. Though it won’t pose a problem to get through the tunnels, she is concerned that the element of surprise will be lost. She finds the “Absolutely!” Man and rescues him from the Serumen Beast. They make their escape, but not without running into a few guards that recognize her as DD. They make it out to the castle wall, but find themselves stuck there.

Ditto Rider discusses the situation with Friend of Ditto and Sheriff, and helps prepare for the attack. She notices a fleeing figure, and some of the posse, including the Sheriff, go after him/her. Ditto Rider spots Salabis and the “Absolutely!” Man on the castle wall, and the Elves fire at the guards, giving them a chance to escape. This begins the battle against the castle….

The Sheriff goes after the figure in his car, and is able to catch up with him…and finds it’s Count No Dittos! He handcuffs him and takes him into custody.

Count No Dittos confesses (on tape) to everything, and the Town decides to keep him permanently in jail (though Ditto Rider suggests having him be kept with the Elves so they don’t have a permanent resident of their jail).

And with that, the story comes to a “satisfactory solution”, as Nessa put it.