"The city is not a concrete jungle, it is a human zoo. "-- Desmond Morris
Gunfire breaks out in a trendy restaurant on UpPort, across the street from a police station, several fatalities, including a local businessman and both his bodyguards. This is the third such incident in the last few weeks, all involving public places, all occurring near Regina P.D. stations. No organization or individuals have claimed responsibility for these assaults. See the Regina Times, 104/1123.
Randall Shelzie, feeling his age as he starts out on his quest for personal redemption, reads the news and phones Commissioner Globber. Randall invites the Commissioner to a new restaurant, Le Crépérie, for breakfast. Since food is involved, the Commissioner accepts.
They meet at the restaurant, are seated, and order before getting down to brass tacks. Globber: "What can I help you with, Mr. Shelzie?" Randall: "I read in the Times about the increased gang activity, and I'd like to offer my services." Globber: "Yes, yes. You must understand, we're professionals. ....tides of crime...currently in the riptide...political instability.." He's trying to politely get rid of the civilian, but in a polite and reassuring fashion. Shelzie: "I do have some experience as an investigator." Globber: "Really? With whom?" Long, long, loooonnng pause. Randall: "I was formerly with the ISA." Globber raises an eyebrow. Randall: "Any way, I would be willing to assist you." Globber: "Well, with your experience in the intelligence community, you're certainly qualified for espionage, but we're dealing with a police investigation here. Was there something specific you had in mind?" Randall: "Yes, I could provide you with ....well, it was a thought." Globber: "In return for?" Randall: "Nothing." Globber: "Nothing? Out of the goodness of your heart?" Randall: "I have no need for money. If I could help you in the capacity as a consultant, forensic pathology was my specialty, I would like to do so." Globber: "Well, we have a new coroner..." Randall: "And I understand he is doing a fine job." Globber: "Yes, he's very good. I don't know that he's completely filled his staff yet, you could inquire with his office, see if he's accepting applications." Randall: "I'll do that. Thank you. And feel free to contact me if there is anything I can do for you." Globber: "Oh, do you live on Regina?" Randall: "Yes. For now." He gives Globber his card. The topic turns more generically friendly as the meal arrives, and Globber lets Randall do most of the talking. Globber is actually interrogating Randall discreetly to check out his story. After all, any nut could claim to be a former member of the ISA. As they are eating, there's a huge explosion and the main window flies across the room, blowing Globber over backwards, and Randall into the table. The Commissioner has spilled his Hollandaise sauce! Qu'ell horror!
After a few minutes, Randall does a quick inventory, and finds his back is bleeding. Globber has only superficial injuries, but he will need a few cuts stitched up. Randall does a quick patch job, then Globber is up and outside, communicator in hand. Randall follows. The scene outside is unpleasant. Part of what used to be an autocab in the street, the fare box is still attached to the frame, but that's about it; nothing but metal. Windows are broken out, people are bleeding and injured, several of them are naked, and a non-load bearing wall has been destroyed. Over by the cab, there are several peoples' worth of body parts strewn about; at least two, maybe three. No tentacles.
Randall, while being careful not to contaminate the crime scene unnecessarily, would like to help. The EMTs get their hands on him though ("Sir, you're bleeding. Let us help you."), so it's off to hospital, to do something about the glass in his and back scalp.
Kiffin Brevette has been out shopping, and is half a block away on her return when she sees a car pull up almost in front of the Jasmine Club. It's a black car, with local plates, and appears to be a private vehicle. Two gentlemen in suit jackets get out, and go down the street and into a neighboring business. Kiffin has walked over to say hello to George when the bomb goes off. It's a big car, and a big bomb. Kiffin is on the ground and deaf; George is very seriously injured, what with his arm not being attached, and his legs bending at odd angles and all. Kiffin starts to get up, intending to go get help, but ends up having to crawl to the still intact front doors. The doors of the Jasmine Club (all of the exterior of the Club) are notoriously hardy. Other employees come out to help.
Jacob Spencer is a Teacher's Assistant (TA) in Regina University's Up Port Annex, and his office is in the area that's currently being painted. After a few hours grading papers amid the fumes, another TA offers the use of his professor's office, since that's the paint-free Sociology section. A few minutes after Jacob arrives in Dr. Tuesla's office the phone rings. Jacob lets it go to voice mail, but about a minute later it rings again, so he answers. Jacob: "Professor Tuesla's office." Voice: "The True Ine Givar is responsible for the three bombs set off today. If you continue to incarcerate our comrades, we will escalate this bombing campaign. To show that we are the responsible parties - the devices were 20 kilos of tri-amatol explosive that was dual primed. All future claims of responsibility for our devices will be accompanied by the code word Wilbur." <click> Jacob hurriedly writes down all he can remember about the message. He gets all the highlights, including the type of explosive, and the code word. Jacob dials 9-1-1, and asks for the police. Jacob: "I'm calling from the University of Regina, and I've just have the most unusual phone call. Some one claimed that they were the True Ine Givar, and had set off three bombs, containing tri-amatol, and they gave the code word 'Wilbur'." A police officer is dispatched, and arrives to question Mr. Spencer. Among other things, he is asked about Professor Tuesla, who Jacob considers a fuzzy-mannered liberal, and incapable of real violence. (His most recent paper was "Metabolizing Testosterone Through Drum-Beating", in the latest edition of ShrinkWrap.) Jacob is polite to the officer, and finds out that yes, there have been several bombs set off today. Jacob speculates that perhaps the people called the professor's number by mistake, having mis-dialed or something. Cop: "And the name Wilbur, does that mean anything to you?" Jacob: "There was King Wilbur I, II, and III on Calicor 3, the agro...." He prattles on in an academic way. Cop: "Did they mention Calicor in the call?" Jacob: "Oh no, but he's the only Wilbur who came to mind. Of course there's Wilbur Sullivan, the famous historian..." The cop finally figures out the Jacob is one of those annoying people who do the crossword puzzle in ink. The cop leaves, politely. Jacob is glad the interview took place in Prof. Tuesla's office, since Jacob's office is lined with pictures and artifacts of weapons, due to his special interest in warrior cultures and weapons, and is a former Marine. In spite of his ponytail.
Steve Corwin, the Groat Hunter, is on Regina Down in his workshop. It's owned by Regina University, but they're subletting it as it's extra space, and besides, Corwin teaches part time when not off in search of exotic animals. He's working on his shark cage when he sees a couple of men in light red jumpsuits rolling blue plastic barrels away from their rental truck. Steve pops a live mouse into his pet bird-spider's cage (Archie), and continues to watch, because they're landing a starship in an area you ought not to. Steve: "Oy!! You can't land a starship here!" Then he's off about the "delicate lichens, and the Regina Titmouse." A man breaks off and heads to him. Steve: "Look here, this is University property. You're disturbing the ecosystem!" Man: "Mind your own business. We'll be out of here as soon as we're done." Steve: "That's not good enough. Landing a ship here is bound to do irrevocable damage to the flora and fauna." Man: "The what? I don't see anything around here." Steve: "You might not see them, but that doesn't mean they're not here. You could have landed on an endangered species, man! Don't you care?" Man: "We're on paved road. What lives on a paved road?" Steve: "The Regina Pit Viper. They like to sun themselves on the tarmac, and they blend perfectly with the moss. Highly poisonous." Man: <nervously> "They look like the moss?" He takes out a gun. Steve: "Here, you can't shoot the snakes. This is University property. You'll upset the Titmice." Man: "Yeah, yeah. We'll be gone in just a minute." Steve: "I must insist." The second man now approaches, also with a gun. Things are getting tense, and the men are brandishing their weapons and telling Steve to bugger off. Steve finally does leave, but not without a parting shot. Steve: "Fine! I'll call the Chancellor's office and have this taken care of." He storms off.
Once Steve is back to his shop, calls the university's administration office, and complains bitterly about them allowing a ship to land on their property, and frighten his animals. Secretary: "What are you talking about?!" Steve: "Listen!" He holds the receiver out the door, so she can hear the nearby ship's engines. Secretary: "Who are you?" Steve: "Steve Corwin." Secretary: "Who?" Steve: "Corwin! From the Biology Department. They let me use one of the storage sheds down here for my animals." Silence. Steve: "I'm a zoologist. <pause> The Groat Hunter?" The light comes on. Secretary: "Oh, you're the Groat Hunter! What is it that's wrong?" Steve tells her again that a ship has landed illegally on university property, and the men won't leave. Secretary: "Did you tell them to?" Steve: "Yes! They pointed guns at me, and were quite rude." Secretary: "You need to contact the police, or Starport Authority, sir. They're the ones who would take care of this sort of situation." <pause> Steve: "Why am I talking to you?!" He hangs up and calls 9-1-1. Operator: "Is this a police or medical emergency?" Steve: <momentarily uncertain> "I don't know. Wait - police. Definitely police. Lives are in danger! Some one is landing a starship in this storage area. Hundreds, thousands of lives could be snuffed out as we speak! The fragile ecosystem is on the brink of destruction!! Besides, I've been told they're not allowed to land ships in this area. Oh, and they fired guns at me. They were handling their weapons in an unsafe manner." Operator: "Stay on the line. We are dispatching personnel, but they might want additional information." He gets bored easily, so he gives the phone to a Rhesus monkey, and tries to figures out where his tranq rifle is. Ah, since he just got back, it's in that one ton cargo container over there, and will take about an hour to get out. He can't figure out what to do for a few minutes. But waiting for some one else to take action is not in his nature. True to form, Steve decides to use his video camera to tape the action. He can't resist the urge to do a naturalist narrative while he films the intruders. The authorities should find this entertaining. Steve: "The larger of the two, who I've decided to call Bob, the dominant male, is a large hulking brute. Let's see how close we can get to them." He'd sneak closer, but there's not much cover. He does dart around the corner of the building, and films the STA car as is comes up the street. He gets the ship as it lifts, then goes back to check on his animals. He just doesn't feel right without a few dozen animals nearby. The officers then question Steve, and get the original copy of his tape. He warns them that it was a used tape, so there's some footage of one of his past safaris on there as well. [Picture a native bearer, having stumbled across some sort of huge snake, with Steve nearby. Steve: <with great enthusiasm> "That's the rare Frenzy Fern Cobra! Very rare, you're lucky to get to see one. Incredibly poisonous of course." Show native bearer frozen with fear as Steve picks up the viper by the tail, brings it level with both their faces, and proceeds to poke the creature with a stick. Steve: "Look at those markings! <snake lunges> Oh, he's aggressive, he is! Lightning fast, these vipers. One bite'll kill a man in seconds!" It continues in this vein.] The police leave, and Steve goes back to teaching Archie to fetch a small ball. Can't feed him too many mice though, or he'll get fat and molt. Ew.
So much for the foreshadowing.