FLYING CRANES

 

 

 

 

 

blog photo 90 flying cranesWHAT IT IS

Davey Doucet sat quietly in the nerve center…a converted 2001 mini van outfitted with computers, cell phones, parabolic microphones and other devices needed in his business. As he starred out the rear window of the van admiring a pair of sandhill cranes he was unaware of what was happening inside the INSECT compound.

Melana Schulz had ordered two clerical staffers to the cavernous basement to help her shred documents. Three mammoth shredders worked the entire weekend, but the documents Schulz really wanted had yet to be found. Thee two young staffers were told to find Monsanto files from 1985 to 1989 dealing with government contracts regarding herbicide use in eastern Canada and Northeastern United States.

As a frustrated Schulz rooted through a fresh pile of boxes, she abruptly stopped, looked toward the ceiling where her steely blue eyes locked onto the small wireless transmitter strapped to a small rodent. As she drew her Smith & Wesson from it’s holster, the squirrel made a break for it. As the first shot rang out, the clerks hit the floor, screaming and the squirrel performed a magnificent leap landing on some ductwork. The second shot hit just below the squirrel as his tiny feet grasped for traction on the shiny sheet metal. This shot then ricochet off the heating duct striking the alarm control panel, setting off the sprinkler and alarm systems.

Water poured down on the trio as the alarm’s pulsating screams filled the air. Schulz was livid…even more so when she saw the water logged rodent running along a steel beam, slipping out an open window.

WHAT IT IS NOT

A lot of people wanted to talk to Tiny LeBlanc, but Tiny was not in a talkative mood these days as he dodged law enforcement across the country. It started with a bold train escape in New Orleans with the FBI in hot pursuit, then Tiny was spotted doing a deep dive off a Ferry crossing the Delaware while on the run from state troopers and finally Tiny was last seen in a stolen NYPD cruiser in upstate New York.

Tiny is believed to have crossed into Canada somewhere near Caribou, Maine and successfully evaded the RCMP. Tiny’s flight from the law nearly ended when a young constable with the Haileybury Police Service happened across Tiny crouched down in the bushes outside the INSECT compound. As the officer demanded his suspect step forward, alarm sirens and flood lights exploded in the night and in the confusion that followed, Tiny made good his getaway, only noticing a pair of cranes flying overhead.

THE RESCUE

 

 

 

 

 

blog photo 89 bean & teddyWHAT IT IS

The Canine Unit in Boston Massachusetts is world renowned for its crime solving prowess. Canines are chosen with great care and their training is long and arduous, with many animals not making the cut. Despite all this rigorous instruction, canines often succumb to their base instinct.

This seemed to be the case of the detective from Boston as he made his way through the tunnels in Beaver County. After three hours of travelling in a northeast direction, our four legged friend picked up the scent of something very familiar…a scent that he knew he should avoid.

He couldn’t! The unmistakeable aroma of a porterhouse broiling was just ahead. As he approached, INSECT agents Johnson and Williams from the Exotic Species branch lassoed him with a dog catcher pole and the fight was on.

The small canine put up a good fight, but the agents were much bigger, and the element of surprise was in their favor. Just as the tightening noose was exhausting the dog into submission, a group of teddy bears appeared, thought Johnson and Williams out of the tunnel and whisked the canine to safety.

WHAT IT IS NOT

Jasper and Chuckles were finishing up their three month stint at the Chapleau Game Preserve, where, as man’s best friend, they provided the community with insights into human/animal behavior. The take-aways provided by the two were simple: humans like to dominate…they wish to appear benevolent…they like to dole out privilege and they really like to control everything…period. To get along with humans it is best to adopt a passive milieu. This was the nugget of Jasper’s and Chuckles’ summer.

As their assignment drew to a close, Chuckles was awestruck by a group of teddy bears he met at the three chipmunk range. In fact, he convinced two of the teddy bears to join him in the Alberta mountains as rescue teddy bears during the upcoming ski season.

 

 

FERN

blog photo 88 opening fernWHAT IT IS

The chipmunks called it the ‘power of suggestion’ plant. They came across it at the edge of the Three Chipmunk Range and brought it back to the compound for further study. Sofia Zuniga was tasked with determining the usefulness of the plant and after several weeks of trials and experimentation, she noted it had mild psychotic properties and indeed seemed to cause actions based on suggestion.

In the weeks that followed a handful of teddy bears, six bumble bees, two dragonflies, one creature claiming to be from Mizar and two young women called on Sofia asking if they could get some extract from this new plant.

WHAT IT IS NOT

Preaching to the converted…easy!

Postulating the grand ideas…simple!

Theorizing how a society runs…elementary!

Speculating on a new world order…effortless!

Miles Hobbson found peace and tranquility near the now famous trestle, where he’d lie down against his favorite rock and watch and listen to the world roll by. As the newly minted mayor of Beaver Falls, he had a bucket load of promises to implement. As he watched a small fern in it’s early stages of development, he had somewhat of an epiphany…his term as mayor would begin with small steps not the grand gestures he spoke of during his campaign.

 

BLACK CAPPED

blog photo 87 chicckadee & catailWHAT IT IS

Cinder Willoughby may have been the last person to know.  But, because he travelled in roughly the same circles as Frank James, he learned of the disappearance of Dizzy and Bella Barnhart and the mysterious events surrounding where they went missing…Plot 82.

So, it came as a surprise to Willoughby that, while watching Black Capped and Carolina chickadees feeding on some cattails, he saw two women matching James’s detailed description of his two cousins.

The women were walking along a secluded trail near the Beaver County Conservation District in a hypnotic state, reciting verse and practising ashtanga yogi. It all seemed quite harmless to Willoughby, but his interest peeked when they started enunciating a message he had seen written on the side of a dusty motorhome.

 

WHAT IT IS NOT

Jones said it was a Black Capped, Brown insisted it was a Boreal, they both agreed they were too far north for it to be a Carolina, so they agreed to disagree.

Two frogs hopped by again, Jones said one was wearing a fedora, Brown insisted he just had an odd shaped head; again they both agreed to disagree.

When INSECT agents finally caught up with Jones and Brown they were a bit delirious and very dehydrated. They were tied up to a large tree, but they were not actually tied up with anything tangible.

The first agents to come across Jones and Brown was Graham and Smith and what they saw was two guys with their hands and feet tightly bound together, but no physical restraints were evident.

 

 

 

MR. CRANE

 

 

 

 

 

blog photo 86 sandhill craneWHAT IT IS

Teddy bear country was expanding, so to was the attention brought to bear on the sentient teddy bears living among us. What started out as a small group in the wilds of Northern Ontario, they can now be found in several locations around North America.

Especially concerning to teddy bears is the harassment caused by agencies such as INSECT and the outright dislike demonstrated by some people toward them. It has been recently discovered that a group of teddy bears in the state of Maine has enlisted the support of a Sandhill crane’s booming call to warn the teddy bears of potential incursions to their lair.

WHAT IT IS NOT

Hundreds of ducks, geese, gulls, snipes, bitterns swam on the quiet waters waiting for Mildred Duck’s production of the Ugliest Gosling to begin. With anticipation filling the air, Mildred waddled to the beachhead, thanked a long list of contributors, then turned the evening over to the cast.

The music was brilliant, the songs heartfelt and uplifting and the storyline gut-wrenching in its simplicity. The cast disciplinarian, Mr. Crane, could be seen yelling at the top of his lungs…he knew they had a hit on their hands.

THE LAKE

 

 

 

 

 

blog photo 85 lake & treeWHAT IT IS

Davey Doucet doesn’t do coincidence, but his resolve took a hit when this unfolded.

Cinder Willoughby found himself on Lake Tomiko doing small mouth bass fish surveys for the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. His MNRF contact was Conservation Officer Micheals, who during a bit of small talk, mentioned his run in with Klaus Wagner and Peter Lehmann.

When Willoughby’s work was finished, he rejoined efforts in Beaver County where an update from Slim Clemons described an early morning encounter he had with two fellas from Louisiana, Wagner and Lehmann. Those two names popped up again around a late night bonfire when Doucet revealed that a listening device he attached to a rodent recorded that Wagner and Lehmann were quasi-official agents with INSECT.

WHAT IT IS NOT

The posters were up, the bulletins were issued, and every available agent was brought in to track down Jones and Brown and bring their kidnappers to justice.

Agents in cars, trucks, helicopters, and on foot fanned out from Plot 82 to relentlessly pursue the guilty parties. The search had just begun when a call to the INSECT hotline suggested Jones and Brown could be found tied to a tree near the water’s edge of Lake Tomiko, not far from the pond where local artisans Buck jimmy and Wilbur jack lived.

 

ELLIE’S STORY CONTINUES

 

Ellie'story ContinuesIt is an old fashion setup: the water carefully measured-three cups exactly. The ground coffee carefully measured-seven one-eighth of a cup portions placed into the stainless steel basket. The percolator placed on a natural gas stove, with the medium burner on high for nineteen minutes. This is how Margaret Brookside does her coffee.

Coffee at 10 PM is generally not a good idea for Margaret, but she had a long night ahead of her and the coffee would help. As she poured over the photos, she was amused by the non-aerial photos…images that the bird-pilot must have thought interesting…like the photo above.

As Margaret switched from regular images to thermal images she thought she saw something out of place at the end of a narrow dirt road leading to an old gravel pit. Thermal images of two people were apparent, but in a subsequent flyover minutes later the thermal image showed four people and in a third flyover only two.

With Slim up near Ellwood City, Willoughby across the county line and Doucet back in Canada, Margaret decided to contact the most dedicated volunteer she could think of…Ellie.

Ellie spent her down time sitting atop a fish and chip truck just on the outskirts of Beaver Falls and that is exactly where Margaret found her. The pair, photos, maps and flashlights in hand, drove to the gravel pit Margaret had seen on the photographs. The pit was adjacent to a long time abandoned rail line and it was dark, it was spooky, it was scary, but the duo muddled on.

As they walked smushed together, they came upon ground that did not seem right. Even in the total dark, they knew they were standing on something out of place. It was hard but not solid, the gravel on top was loose underfoot and when Margaret stomped her foot on the ground a hollow thud talked back. Ellie said she could think her way into whatever they were standing on and without hesitation she disappeared leaving Margaret alone to ponder their fate.

Ellie’s bright blue eyes adjusted slowly in the dark, she could hear slow methodical breathing from two distinct humans just ahead of her. Fumbling for the flashlight, Ellie swung it up in front of her, gripping it tight with both hands, pointing the beam straight ahead. Four squinting eyes and two beautiful faces greeted Ellie…she had found Cricket and Sapphire.