The Moosehead Stratagem, Chapter Two, Final Part

[back to the usual stuff, tomorrow.  Hope you enjoyed this]

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Buck Justermanson sputtered at Mike Wistersheshenham, “Those were two of my best men you just killed. Each had over thirty confirmed kills, and fifty more imaginary ones”

Mike straightened his collar with a piece of human skull he had harvested from one of the thugs. He gave Ahem a significant look as he sat down at the table of the two men; then, he turned to Mr. Justermanson and said with a smirk,

I’ve killed plankton that put up more of a fight than your boys just did”

Ah yes”, Ahem interjected, “The View to a Krill sanction. The safety of the entire world was at stake. Too bad you decided to play by your own rules”

You had me working with my hands tied behind my back.”

Ahem corrected Mike, “Those were handcuffs…and I only ordered you to wear them so that you wouldn’t scratch if you got any mosquito bites”

Anyway, the target was nullified and the mission was carried out”

And”, Ahem exclaimed, “You deliberately disobeyed my orders”

Mike bristled, “You ordered me to transmute lead into gold”

You didn’t even TRY”

Mike started to say something, then turned to Buck and asked, “Why do you need to see me?”

Buck pulled out a large manila envelope and opened it. From the envelope, he withdrew an 8 x 10 photograph. “This is Professor Huterhaven as we found him in the National Gallery last week”

Mike took the photograph and examined it closely. The professor was completely nude, lying spread-eagle on the floor with a star drawn on his chest…along with a moon, clover, heart and diamond. He handed the picture back and stated, “He looks like Leonardo’s study of human proportions”

That’s what we thought; it turned out, however, that he was shot to death while doing nude jumping jacks”

In the National Gallery of Art?”

The professor was a man with many quirks”, said Buck Justermanson, “To alleviate the stress from his work, he often exercised naked in the Smithsonian. Unfortunately, since he was killed in the museum of modern art, his body remained untouched for several days. A Japanese businessman even tried to buy him for his lobby”

And, the killer?”

Someone with white skin and white hair was seen leaving the location near the time of the murder. We’re working under the theory that Professor Huterhaven was shot by a polar bear or Edgar Winter”

Mike leaned back in his chair, “So, you’ve had a murder. What do you need me for?”

Ahem interrupted the two men, “The professor was in possession of a piece of canvas, on the back of which was a key to an ancient code. Even with the scrap of canvas only one person in this world can decipher the code” Buck handed Mike another photograph.

She’s showering”, Mike stated.

She is the daughter of Professor Huterhaven. We can give you an address and other information; however, she will be difficult to find. We have no photographs of her clothed and with dry hair”

And, you want me to kill her?”

Good Christ, no!”, Ahem blurted out, “We want you to protect her and escort her to our super-secret installation in Phoenix”

Why not our super-secret installation in Washington, DC?”, Mike inquired.

Flooded. Some idiot shredded the sump pumps”

Mike picked up the envelope for a moment, then threw it back down onto the table. “Forget it, boys. You still haven’t told me why I would want to get involved in this caper”

Buck took a good swallow of his drink, then took the bandaid out of his mouth and set it on his napkin. “There’s already a contract on the woman”, he stated, “ and the assassin they hired for the task is Resnick Tucker Resnick—“

He’s dead”, Mike exploded, “I saw him chopped into pieces and shot into space”

Buck smiled wanly, then replied even wanlier, “You thought you saw him chopped into pieces…you thought you saw him shot into space. In reality, he was just stabbed a lot and thrown over a house”

Mike paused, then took the envelope. “I guess”, he said, “I have to finish what I started”

That’s a good boy”, said Buck, “You’ll need to get in touch with us every three days using—“ But, Mike Wistersheshenham had disappeared! “How the hell did he—?” But, Ahem was also gone. Buck tried to set his drink down on the table, but the table was also gone. The drink crashed to the floor as Buck realized his chair had vanished as well. He fell to the dance floor. The music started up again and the dancers took the floor…

Hot fire! Water is ice, baby!…

 

[previous chapter]

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