The Mandalorian Brothers and the Crowned Jewels, Pt. 3
Read the ending of Max's story!
Chapter 20: Forged in Fire
The brothers took a ferry back towards the city. When the brothers hopped off the boat, they thought that they were at the edge of the city. They wanted to go straight through Central Park and across New York City, but they ended up taking an unexpected turn and arrived at a pond in the middle of the park! When they got to the pond, the brothers realized they were lost and said, "Uh oh, where are we? Let's try getting back to the city." They walked towards the North East side of the city and found their way out of the park.
The brothers did not have enough money to get out of the city and back to the Queen's palace, so they decided that they would get a job and work for a couple of days. The brothers knew that there was a store in New York that they both really liked called Forged in Fire. The store made swords and some shields, which the brothers thought were really cool. They walked around the city for hours and eventually found it! The brothers asked if they could compete in front of a judge named Dave Baker (he is a real judge at Forged in Fire - and he is pretty good).
The judge spoke to the brothers and said, "you must both recreate an iconic weapon from history called the Jambia.”
The brothers could use any materials that they could find but they each only had about 5 days to create the Jambia. The brothers worked really hard and remembered that they were competing against each other. They both used high carbon steel and quenched it the exact same way and used the same handle material. When the brothers were done, their swords looked almost exactly the same - it was hard to notice any differences.
Chapter 21: The Tests
"Oh my goodness, which one is yours?" the judge asked Apollo.
"Mine is the one with the engraving Apollo on it," Apollo said.
"And mine is marked with the exact same ink, but says BabaFrank," added BabaFrank.
Apollo said, "Mine was almost perfectly straight when it came out of the quench. It has the exact curve in the parameters."
"Mine had a little warp, but I'm still confident in it," BabaFrank replied.
The judge knew that the quench was a really hard thing to get right - it could easily get warps or cracks. The judge pointed this out and said, "not only do you have warps, BabaFrank, but you also have cracks."
The first test of the swords was the killing test. Apollo's jambia performed beautifully. With its rounded sharp edge, the jambia cut easily through the target with just two swings. Dave Baker responded well to Apollo's performance but mentioned that he had noticed a tiny dent in the jambia. BabaFrank's jambia performed just as well, but the judge pointed out that his cracks and warp had gotten much bigger -- and there was even a dent! The second test was the strength test - the icebox chop. The high carbon steel of the jambia could slice through the icebox if it was quenched correctly. This test was not about what the jambias could do to the icebox, but what the icebox could do to the jambias. Apollo's jambia performed just as well as the judges had hoped: not a single dent in the icebox and not a single dent in the sword. But the same was true of BabaFrank's! The last test was the cutting test of ceramic pots. Unlike the strength test, this was all about what the swords could do to the ceramic pots. Apollo and BabaFrank hoped for the best. Apollo's sword did not turn out that well -- after slicing nine pots, the whole blade totally came off on the tenth try!
Chapter 22: Catastrophic Failure
But Apollo thought he might still win the competition, because it took 9 hits of the sword for the ceramic to break. The judge said, "Your jambia has had a catastrophic failure. But you are not out of the competition yet. First, BabaFrank's sword must survive all 10 tries.
BabaFrank walked up to the ceramic pots and started to hit them. But his sword did not perform well either. On the fifth try, the cracks on his jambia got too big and knocked the blade off its handle.
The judge said, "We've never seen anything like this before! Both jambias have had catastrophic failures, but BabaFrank's failed before Apollo's did! So, Apollo will win the competition and take home 10 grand! But, since the brothers are working together, I suppose that they should split the money evenly - Apollo will get 5 grand and so will BabaFrank.”
Then, the judge turned to the brothers and said, “This will give you both enough money to make your way out of the city and return to the Queen of England. But I'm not sure if you should leave just yet. You should enter the final competition, where you will have the chance to compete against other blacksmiths for a $50,000 grand prize. So, do you want to compete?"
Apollo wanted the money, so he agreed to participate. BabaFrank was not so sure, so he said, "No, thanks! I think I will stay out of the final competition and just cheer on my brother."
Chapter 23: Quaz!
Five days later, Apollo was in the finals. He walked to the store to get ready for the final round of the competition when he saw his competitor. He was very short and quite stubby, and looked like he was pretty young. Apollo thought he also looked familiar, a little bit like a thief. After both Apollo and his opponent were all set up and ready, the judge began the competition.
"Apollo, you will compete against.... QUAZ!" Quaz smiled from the opposite side of the room. Then, the judge said, "today you will be creating a hungamunga, which is an iconic weapon from history."
Apollo knew how to make these types of weapons very well - he had made them three or four times. But Quaz did not know how to make a hungamunga, and decided to only make a dagger instead. But Quaz also did not know to quench very well, so he just tried to make the metal for the sword and a handle. When both competitors were done, the judge turned to Quaz and said, "this does not look like a hungamunga to me."
"But I don't know how to make one," Quaz replied.
"Well, that's the point of Forged in Fire. You are supposed to learn how to make new stuff. But I guess we will just have to continue with your short dagger."
Once again, the first test was the cutting test: the competitors were supposed to poke a lantern until its light went out. Apollo's hungamunga performed great: its 5 sharp edges took out the lantern in just one try. Quaz's was not quenched well, so it took a huge bend: it went from perfectly straight to totally bent - the metal was getting weaker.
The second test was the strength test: Apollo and Quaz were supposed to hit a piece of bamboo with their swords and see what the bamboo could do to their swords. Apollo's performed beautifully and cut through the bamboo without any effort - the sword did not get a dent or anything! Quaz's, on the other hand, bent all the way over and was only hanging on by one piece of metal.
Chapter 24: Apollo Wins!
The third and final test was the cutting test. This one was easy: the opponents would have to use their hungamungas to cut through three plastic bags. Apollo's took no damage whatsoever and cut right through them. But Quaz had a lot more difficulty because his sword was almost completely broken. Even though he was able to cut through all of them, only a little bit of the sword remained on the handle.
Because this was the final competition, there was one more test: the knicker test. Apollo and Quaz both had to cut through one rope each, and if their blades did not hold up, they would be out of the competition. The judge said, "whoever's blade is stronger and can cut through more of the rope will win the grand prize of 50 grand." Quaz's sword, as totally expected, completely broke while he tried to cut through the rope.
"Noooo," he yelled. "I was hoping to win this."
But Apollo's sword didn't have any damage whatsoever and cut right through the rope. The judges discussed for a bit and then announced, "the winner of this competition is..... APOLLO!" BabaFrank was drinking orange juice with popcorn and was busy cheering his brother on.
Then, the announcer said, "Apollo will get 25 grand, and BabaFrank will get the rest!"
BabaFrank yelled out from the sideline, "WHOOPEE!"
Apollo was a little bit less surprised, but still very happy. He had made a sword that had cut through everything, so he had known he would win from the start. After all, Quaz hadn't even quenched!
Chapter 25: The Trap
When the competition was over and the brothers had gotten their money, they decided that they had enough cash to buy a mobile jail cell (basically a birdcage) to make sure that Quaz would not escape. Then, the brothers decided that they would trick Quaz into a trap. They left Forged in Fire and walked out of the door, aware that Quaz might follow them out. Then, they walked into a jewelry store because they knew that Quaz could not resist jewelry. Before Quaz entered the store, the brothers quickly set up a trap: they put a gem on the floor (that they had already bought and paid for) which had a thin string attached to it. The string was attached to a cage that had another gem in it. The brothers thought that when Quaz saw the gem, he would dive in recklessly, which would make the cage fall down with another gem. Then, Quaz would dive towards that gem because he was just so greedy - but he would get stuck inside the cage. The brothers would then shut the door of the cage and cut the string off with scissors so that Quaz could not pull the string more to lift himself up. The plan went perfectly: Quaz dived for the first gem, triggered the trap, and then dived for the second gem. The brothers came out of their hiding place, locked the door, cut the string with scissors, and said "Bye-bye, Quaz. We knew you were a bad guy from the start." Before the brothers left the jewelry store, they picked up the string and took the gems out of Quaz's hands. They wanted to make sure that they cleaned up after themselves and didn't leave the store a complete mess.
Chapter 26: JewelaFrank
Quaz knew that there was not was no way for him to escape, at least nothing he could think of. So, he decided to tell the brothers the truth about the mystery person.
"His name is JewelaFrank. When I met him, he said that if I stole the Mona Lisa, I would get enough money to buy my own house in Brobinson. So, I accepted his offer and bought this house and some fruit and vegetables. Eventually, I ran out of money again so I had to steal the crowned jewels. He'll be so angry when he finds out I failed him and got caught by you two," Quaz explained. "JewelaFrank is an even worse thief than I am. One time, he stole nine cruisers filled with treasure chests.'“
BabaFrank started thinking out loud. "Wait! Is he the one who we failed to capture that one time? Oh, no. Um, wait. I think he might be....no."
Suddenly, BabaFrank realized why the name JewelaFrank sounded so familiar. He shouted out, "JewelaFrank is my cousin!"
Quaz's mouth dropped open. "What’s your name, again?" he asked.
"That's...that's right! JewelaFrank wa-, wa-, was telling me about this story. He had tried to use his freeze gun to freeze you guys and escape!" Quaz said. "I can take you to him if you want. He lives in a barn in Brobinson, and sometimes likes to disguise himself as a farmer with a stumpy arm.”
Chapter 27: Another One Bites the Dust
"Wait a second. Was he this farmer?" BabaFrank pulled up the picture they had taken of the farmer with the stumpy arm just a few days before.
"Yeah! You know him?" Quaz asked.
"Well, we were a bit suspicious of the icon on his shirt. So we took a sneaky picture just in case," Apollo replied.
"The icon on his shirt is a thief icon. It means 'I'll rob you," Quaz explained.
“Oh, okay. Well, can you take us to his house now?” Even though I don't think we should capture JewelaFrank now, maybe we can put a tracker on him so that it will be easier to find him in the future."
Quaz agreed. The farmer's house was only about one foot away, but it was hidden by some trees. The brothers walked toward the house and followed Quaz. They recognized the gun holes immediately - especially the ones that went right through the front door. The brothers hid behind one of the trees and programmed a robot chameleon and a tracking device. They attached the tracking device to the chameleon, which was going to climb up JewelaFrank and drop the tracking device on his head. They wanted to make sure that it went into his skin and not onto his clothes -- otherwise, it would only track JewelaFrank's clothing and might get messed up in the wash.
The brothers released the chameleon and set him off in the direction of the house. The chameleon climbed through the front door into the gun hole and tracked JewelaFrank using his motion. Then, the chameleon climbed up JewelaFrank’s back, but BabaFrank started to notice something was weird.
He said, "Who's there?"
Thankfully, Rollie came in and growled at him.
"Wait, who are you?"
Rollie jumped towards JewelaFrank’s mouth and bit him on the tongue.
"Ahhhhhhh!" JewelaFrank yelled.
Chapter 28: Band-aid Time!
At that exact moment, the brothers thought that their whole plan was going to fail. Luckily, they saw a porcupine near one of the trees and scared it so that they could catch it. Then, they threw the porcupine right in front of JewelaFrank, who accidentally stepped on it. The porcupine got so angry that it made its quills flick onto JewelaFrank’s foot.
JewelaFrank yelled out. "OW!!" Then, he started clutching his foot - but that only made the pain worse, because more quills stuck into his hand! Then, he clutched his foot with his other hand, which caused the exact same thing to happen! JewelaFrank threw his hands up and yelled "owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww."
In the meantime, the chameleon dropped the tracking device onto JewelaFrank's hair and then jumped off of him. Rollie was only making things worse by sticking extra quills into JewelaFrank's tongue. After a while, he also jumped off JewelaFrank and rolled all the way back to the brothers.
Apollo said, "Good job Rollie, we almost forgot about you!"
Shortly after, the porcupine freed itself and made its quills fall off. JewelaFrank, on the other hand, ran straight to the doctor's office. He was going to need a pretty big band-aid! After all, who wants to look like a human porcupine?
Chapter 29: Whining Quaz
The brothers laughed and snuck away. They put Quaz back into his cage and brought him to the airport with them. Then, Apollo threw him into the storage, which made Quaz whine like a baby. Just like last time, Quaz yelled, "get me out of here" and then fainted. Meanwhile, the brothers flew back to the Queen's palace in the United Kingdom. When they got there, the brothers saw that one room was completely ruined and looked like a mess.
"Oh, looks like they haven't fixed it yet," Quaz said quietly.
"Fixed what?" the brothers asked. They were a bit suspicious.
"Well, when I stole the crowned jewels, I used my mobile tank to destroy one of the rooms so that I could distract the Queen’s guards."
"I'm sure the Queen will send you to her dungeon when she figures out it was you who stole her jewels. I'm sure that room is perfectly fine and ready for you," BabaFrank said.
Quaz started whining again. "I don't want to go to the dungeooon," he complained. He was a bad-mannered boy, and after he finished whining, he immediately fainted.
The brothers shook their heads. Then, they got past the guards and went to speak to the Queen.
"Hello, your majesty," they said. "We have caught the thief and have brought him to you. He is here in this cage. We have also returned your crowned jewels, which we found on the tip of the Statue of Liberty's crown in New York!"
"Oh, wow! It seems like you went all the way around the world," the Queen replied. "Thank you. If you would now politely push the thief onto this slide into the dungeon?"
Quaz overheard the Queen and immediately woke up from his faint. He started whining once again and said, " ButI don't want to go to the dungeon." He really did complain about everything.
Chapter 30: How in the World?
While the brothers pushed him down the chute, Quaz kept whining. The brothers heard him whine all the way until he reached the dungeon. His voice kept getting quieter and quieter - and then, suddenly, they could not hear him anymore. The Queen gave Apollo and BabaFrank 1.3 million dollars each to thank them for returning her crowned jewels, which were worth billions. But the brothers had to tell the Queen one more thing before they left.
"You should know that there is a third mystery person named JewelaFrank who is also involved in this case. He told Quaz to steal both the Mona Lisa and your crowned jewels. He usually disguises himself as a farmer with a stumpy arm in Brobinson, but he may be able to disguise himself as other things, too! We also found out that he is BabaFrank's cousin, but we want you to know that BabaFrank is definitely a good guy. Even though we did not catch JewelaFrank this time, we were able to use a programmed chameleon to drop a tracking device on his head. We promise to find him soon.”
"How in the world did Quaz steal my crowned jewels?" the Queen asked.
"Well, first he used a mobile tank to destroy your bedroom so that all your guards would be distracted. Then, he snuck in, and, well, he used a laser to steal the crowned jewels. Then, he made sure to drop a clue so that we would start to chase him around the world. He never thought that we would actually find him!"
Chapter 31: The Uber-Toobers
"Are you sure you are going to be able to catch JewelaFrank?" the Queen asked.
"Oh, yes. We put a tracking device on him, so we will be able to track him down easily. For now, we're just happy that the person who was working for him is in the dungeon whining like a baby," Apollo said.
"Do you think JewelaFrank will steal again soon?"
"He will probably have to find another person to work for him first. He is way too lazy to do the job himself. Trust me, I know," BabaFrank responded.
Apollo added, "I doubt that he will strike himself. We will just have to see if he can find someone else to help him before we can get to him."
The Queen thanked the brothers again and walked them out the door. Then, the brothers called 15 Ubers to the palace to take them to their airplane. They needed 1 Uber for themselves, and 14 for all the money they had gotten during their trip. They had so much cash to bring back to the City Between Two Sides! When the Ubers arrived, the brothers helped the drivers load all the money onto the cars. The cash was stacked into black suitcases and looked very fancy. Then, the Ubers drove them all the way to the City Between Two Sides, which was in Australia. The Ubers could transform into lifeboats when they hit the water and were very expensive. The lifeboats could go just as fast as motorboats, and the brothers arrived in approximately 13 days. When they got to the City Between Two Sides, the brothers gave the drivers 100 grand each for their journey - that's how expensive the Ubers were!
Chapter 32: The Final Party
Then, the brothers rushed home and started to decorate their house. They hung up all sorts of streamers and put everything on display, including presents and art and goody bags. Next, Apollo and BabaFrank called all their friends and all the people who had helped them solve the Mona Lisa and Crowned Jewels mysteries. They invited them all to come to another party and celebrate the brothers’ success! Before the guests arrived, the brothers also decided to put pictures of Quaz on display and put the selfies that they had taken with Neymar and the Queen all around the house. Once they got everyone together (which was about 1,000 people), the brothers started the party!
Luckily, the brothers had a couple of houses that were all connected to each other so that all their guests could fit. The brothers were very surprised when they realized that everyone they invited had come to the party! Even Neymar had come with his entire soccer team, including players like Messi and Ronaldo. The Barcelona team also showed up, because they heard that Santos would be there and wanted a re-match! The brothers were super excited to meet the players, and they played an awesome game of soccer together. The Santos team won 20-5 -- Messi scored some awesome backflip goals and scored like 15 times! Ronaldo also scored 1 goal and Neymar got 4. The Santos team accidentally scored a couple of points in their own goal, which really helped Barcelona, who was not doing too well.
Everyone else had a great time watching the game and getting free camel rides (the camel that they had met in Egypt had come to the party, too!). The dogs from the dogsled race were partying a lot and having so much fun playing with the soccer ball they decided to stay over at the brothers' house. The dogs stayed for a quick dinner before leaving the next day and had a great meal with the brothers. Then, everyone lived happily ever after - at least for now.