A World Full of Monsters

Table of Contents

Chapter 33
Out of the Water, Part 8

The cavalry finally arrives. Just in time for breakfast.

The rest of the night was…well, it was long. We took turns keeping watch until dawn, but nothing else happened. Daddy Fishie died around 2am, after a lot of thrashing that killed a bunch more of his babies and shook the building a little more. The elevators were still working, though, so Les went back down to his room on Three to catch a few hours of sleep instead of sleeping in the suite. Chef Zabato showed up not long afterward with six of the missing staff members: he’d sent someone down to the parking garage with a fire extinguisher and instructions to take a car and get to the nearest town to let someone know what was going on, and they’d found the staff members trapped on top of cars, surrounded by fishies. Eight more staff members, at least approximately, were the reason the fishies had stuck around. The survivors said a man in an official jacket had been sending them to the parking garage, supposedly because Ms. Alvarez wanted them to meet up there. All six of them identified that man as Libby, our smug little environmental terrorist stooge; they were more than happy to clear out a couple of utility closets to lock he and Gabriel up in, so we were able to scratch prisoner-watching duty off of the list of things we had to do.

Unfortunately, sending someone to warn the nearest town about the fishies was now off the list too, because all of the cars had been disabled before the staff members got to them. So even though Daddy Fishie was dead and the wave of babies was on its way to being somewhat under control, everyone was still trapped at the resort. And we still had no network connection, either.

The sun came up around 6:30, spreading warm tropical cheer all over the scene of utter carnage that had been a pristine white sand beach the day before. The baby fishies were starting to scatter, possibly looking for shade, so we all went out and used the sonar device to herd them back toward the sandbag wall, then used fire extinguishers to kill them in groups – we didn’t dare waste the fire extinguishers by running down individual fishies, because there was no guarantee that Mommy Fishie wouldn’t make an appearance later. Or that help would reach us before she did.

She didn’t. But before we were finished herding a helicopter showed up. It circled the resort twice, then landed on the beach when we waved. The first person to jump out was uniformed and had a big gun at the ready…but we were all tired and cranky and when he yelled something at us and gestured with his gun, I yelled back. “Hell no we aren’t putting them down! There are still live fishies out here!”

Maria repeated that in Spanish – really loudly – and then someone else echoed her from the direction of the helicopter and the guy stood down. An older man, also in uniform, came striding up…and Mike was right behind him. He looked a little rough but otherwise okay, although his eyes were as wide as I’d ever seen them. “I thought you said that thing couldn’t leave the water!”

“We did not think he could,” Jorge allowed. “He is not exactly what we had thought he was, however. We will know more once we have studied what is left of him.”

“Which we are not doing until after we have had breakfast,” Maria insisted forcefully. “And sleep! We have been up all night keeping watch, and killing the baby fishies inside the resort, and watching the two terroristas we caught.”

“Some of the staff members finally locked them each in a closet, they’re secure,” Joey put in when all three of the newcomers looked alarmed. “The one guy keeps pissing on himself, though, so have fun with that.”

“I think he may be afraid of dogs or something,” I said. A couple of fishies were waddling up, and Evan hit them with the sonar to make them turn around. I covered a yawn. “Thanks Evan. Anyway, though, he’s scared of me, so if you need to get him to talk…”

“Geneva. Convention,” Maria scolded. “If I cannot torture los prisioneros, you cannot either.”

I stuck out my tongue at her. “You were threatening to mod them with every awful combination of animals and bugs you could think of, Maria – you drew them pictures! I’m just trying to catch up.”

Jorge rolled his eyes. “Capitán,” he addressed the older uniformed man. “We have a log of events written out, it is being guarded by another squad member at the command center we established on the roof – he also has the other radio. If you will allow us to finish here, then we can all go up and discuss what needs to be done next.”

The captain seemed a little bit taken aback by all of that, but he shook it off. “We will help you,” he said. “A gun will kill them also, will it not?”

“I can get my claws into them pretty easily, so they’re not bulletproof,” I agreed. “The extinguishers can kill more of them at a time, though – and we still haven’t seen Mommy Fishie, so we might need the bullets later if she shows up. It was pure luck we were able to kill Daddy Fishie the way we did.”

“Dr. Darling and Mr. Tremain fired off an extinguisher into its mouth from down in the pool area,” Randy clarified before he could ask. “And then when it raised its head, Dr. Cristal targeted its gills from a balcony on the second floor and Dr. Vargas went for its eyes from the third. And then Dr. Darling slashed it open so the babies would finish the job.” He patted his camera. “I have pictures. They had me on the third floor with Dr. Vargas so I could document what happened from the best vantage point possible.”

“You make it sound like we actually knew that would work,” I teased him. “This is Randy Beckman, by the way, he’s a member of our squad.”


“The Fishie Apocalypse Prevention Squad,” Jorge announced, just a little dramatically – he was tired, we all were. “We have made a good start, but we may require the help of la Marina to finish. We know there are still fishies in the water, not to mention the mother, and if they are not all killed…well, it will be the end of the world.”

The captain obviously thought that last part was also Jorge being dramatic, and Joey shook his head. “No, he’s not exaggerating,” he said. “A catfish can lay thousands of eggs at a time, and these creatures have no natural predators. Not to mention they’re apparently amphibious. If we don’t wipe them out here and now, before the infestation can spread, they’re not just going to destroy most of the sea life on the planet within a couple of years…they’re also going to be in direct competition with us for the top predator spot.”

“The longest we can afford to wait to address this problem is until this afternoon,” Jorge concurred. “Because we must guide you, but we are all so tired we are silly. We are only out here on the beach now because we did not know if help would be coming.”

Mike’s scent reflected confusion and just a hint of offense at that, and I shook my head at him. “Mike, we were afraid they might have had someone watching the road, lying in wait to stop anyone who made it out. You’re tough, but you’re not bulletproof.” I put my extinguisher down, walked over and gave him a hug that seemed to surprise him quite a bit. “Really glad to see you alive, by the way.”

He sort of gingerly returned the hug – not because of any kind of weirdness on his part, you have to remember that he’s nearly three of me and I seem really fragile in comparison. “Ditto,” he said. “We didn’t see anyone on the road, but we were going so fast that even if someone had seen us they might not have had time to react – turns out Mr. Mendoza liked to drag race when he was younger, and he knows this area like the back of his hand. He’s waiting in the helicopter now, he knows he can’t outrun anything on foot, especially not in the sand.” He moved me away from him, looked around. “Why aren’t the staff out here helping you guys?”

“We didn’t ask them to.” I patted his arm, went back to my extinguisher. I could see more fishies waddling our way. “They’re running really short right now. The current count is nineteen members of the staff dead, possibly twenty if the bones outside the kitchen door belonged to one of them. One of the terrorists decoyed at least fourteen staff members into the parking garage, only six survived. Then they murdered eight more in the stockrooms and tortured the concierge into killing herself, trying to get her to open the resort’s safe for them.” I fished out my phone, handed it to him. “Evan and I took turns taking pictures of the stockrooms, but once I realized there was nothing alive in the office we both took pictures there – we were afraid there might be more terrorists in the resort, so we knew we needed to document the evidence in case someone tried to cover it up somehow.”

He took the phone, finding the pictures and scrolling through them, holding it so the captain could see after he got a good look at the first one. Evan handed them his phone too, and then we went back to herding and killing fishies. We managed to clear up the rest of the ones we’d been targeting, the armed soldier shooting a few stragglers apparently just so he could feel like he was doing something, and then we trudged back up the beach and Evan and I reclaimed our phones. “We got the baby fishies out of the stockrooms and locked the main door,” I told them. “We didn’t touch anything else, and we told the chef not to let any staff members go in there.”

The captain was frowning. “How did you know she was dead before you opened the office door?”

Mike’s scent wasn’t worried – it was just a routine question – but I still huffed. “My senses of smell and hearing are on par with any other canine’s, Captain,” I told him, swishing my tail for emphasis. “I couldn’t hear breathing, but I could smell her scent – I’d had enough contact with her since we got here to be able to recognize it. There was only a residual scent of fishies, and just a little bit of blood-scent – not nearly as much as I’d smelled outside the stockroom doors.” My ears drooped, just a little. “And there hadn’t been any response when I called her name.”

Mike sighed. “They’re just scientists,” he reminded the older man. “They only know how to handle a crime scene because GenoMod gets called out to handle incidents that turn out to be crime scenes so often. And that’s only getting worse now that Ancient Fire is becoming more active.”

The captain nodded; it really had been just a routine question. “Interpol said the same. It was interesting, speaking with them – I have never had to deal with la policía internacional before, they were more polite than I would have expected.”

“We all have to cooperate when it comes to things like this,” I told him with a shrug. “There’s no room for ego trips when we’re dealing with a threat like Ancient Fire.”

Surprisingly – to me, anyway – his scent spiked with respect, and he smiled. “True, there is not. Your squad is finished on the beach for now?”

That had been addressed to all of us, and everyone nodded. “We will meet you on the roof,” Maria told him. “I know there is a helicopter pad there. The squad member there is Les, he is a retired bombero from the States.”

“He has more pictures on his phone, too,” I said. “He was on Three with me yesterday, we were filming Daddy Fishie’s triumphant march out of the water from one of the balconies.”

“Yeah, they only stopped because Daddy Fishie saw them and changed direction,” Joey added. “Which was a good thing, since Daddy Fishie was breaking windows on that floor with his tail filaments not fifteen minutes later. Speaking of which, don’t let any of the babies slap you with their tails if you get close to one – we know they don’t have much of an effect on Danny, but that might not hold true for the rest of us.”

I really did not expect Mike to turn a funny color, or for his scent to spike with…well, all kinds of things. “Wait, one of them stung you?”

“One of them slapped me with its tail filaments out on the beach during the opening act of the Great Fishie Migration,” I corrected. “It went through my pants and left a welt, though, so don’t expect your clothes to protect you. We haven’t had time to study them yet to figure out if the filaments can do more than just wave around and hit things.” I held back another yawn with my hand. “That will be this afternoon, when my eyes aren’t crossing too much to use a microscope. Any word on when we might have the network back?”

“Hopefully by this afternoon there will be cell phone service again,” the captain answered. “Telmex says el Internet will take longer, because of the extent of the damage to their cables. And we also suspected there might be more terroristas at large on the peninsula, so the repair crews must go with soldiers to protect them.”

“I am glad to hear that,” Ramon told him. “More deaths here we do not need.” He started herding all of us back toward the resort, pulling out the radio he was carrying. “Les, we are coming back now. And el helicóptero will be landing on the roof shortly. Chef Zabato, Señor Mendoza is with them. And you can tell the guests that we should have phones back this afternoon if there are no other incidents, but they still need to stay inside the resort building…”


We stopped at the suite on the way up, making a stab at cleaning ourselves up a little, and then went up to the roof. Chef Zabato was already there, and two of his people were laying out a very generous family-style breakfast for all of us. “You will let them eat, Capitán Abeyta,” he insisted when the other man seemed like he wanted to dive right into asking questions about the notepad he had in his hand. “Most of the squad missed both lunch and dinner yesterday because of these deadly híbridos, they kept the watch all night, and then they still went out to drive more of them away so soon as the sun had risen. If you do not want to sit and drink coffee, I can have someone take you down to talk to los estúpidos terroristas.”

“Libby wants to martyr himself to the cause, and Gabriel’s the one that pees his pants every time I get close to him,” I offered. “Gabriel has a really good incentive to cooperate with you, though. His family wasn’t part of his stupidity, but from what I understand they may need protection from his new friends now that he’s been caught.”

“Los terroristas and los traficantes de drogas,” Chef Zabato confirmed. “Not to mention the neighbors, once the names of the dead become known. I will help with that as much as I can. Señora Abalos is a good woman, it is not her fault her son allowed himself to be led like a sheep.”

“I can speak with her, we will see,” Captain Abeyta agreed. “The father?”

“Dead. He was un conductor de tren, she has his pension from the railroad. And dos hijas, small enough they have only just started school.”

I was somewhat surprised to see Abeyta flinch. “We will think of something, Chef,” he said. “Yes, please take me to see dos estúpidos terroristas. The other one, ‘Libby’, he is not afraid of you, Dr. Darling?”

I shook my head. “Not that I could tell, not really. He did threaten to rape Dr. Villegas, though, so you might have some leverage there.”

He actually smiled. “Oh yes, I can work with that. Corporal, you come with me. We will be back up once we have seen what needs to be seen elsewhere.”

Ramon dug a key – the one for the employee area door in the lobby – out of his pocket and handed it over. “This will get you into the area where the storerooms and the office are at. Be careful of the dead fishies in the locker area.”

“Yeah, the venom spikes can still get you if you bump into one,” Joey agreed, rubbing his eyes. “They’re all on one side of the room, though, so you shouldn’t have a problem going around them.”

The captain nodded gravely, pocketing the key, and he and the corporal took the elevator down with Chef Zabato. We all relaxed into having breakfast once they were gone, and I ignored the looks Mike was giving me until I’d eaten my share of the sausage, because Maria? Is not above taking food off my plate. “Mike, it’s not like we could have handled things any differently. We had no way of knowing if you’d been able to get through or not.”

“And no way of knowing if those calls Daddy Fishie kept making were going to have Mommy Fishie joining him in his quest to figure out how to get at the food inside the building,” Joey added. “They’re part carnivore, by the way; once they mature past their tadpole stage – that’s the baby fishies – then the mammal parts start to show, like the teeth and the knee joints and the paw feet.”

“They may be part hyena,” I said. “The teeth look familiar that way, not so sure about the rest yet.”

Mike just shook his head. “Wasn’t what I was thinking, but I can see why you’d interpret it that way. I already knew you were as careful as you could be, Doctors. I only said that before I left because I wanted to be sure you’d keep your own safety in mind if anything happened – other people may think you’re expendable, but I don’t and Interpol sure as hell doesn’t. No, what I was sitting here trying to wrap my head around…I was gone less than 24 hours. And then I come back, and you’ve pulled in three more specialist volunteers, organized your own defensive squad, caught two terrorists, did preliminary scene control on multiple homicides, made sure the resort kept running, secured the building for the safety of the civilian guests, and killed a two-story high venomous modded creature that you hadn’t even known could leave the water until it walked up onto the beach. Captain Abeyta almost had a heart attack when he saw that damned thing laying on the pool, and then we all had one together when we saw all of you out there chasing the babies around on the beach. And he was in disbelief all the way up to the patio because you all felt the need to get defensive with him about needing to eat and sleep before you went out to kill the rest of the fishies. He thought scientists just did, you know, science. In a lab. He expected you all to be in the suite doing that when we got here.”

“It’s not like we could do much of anything with one microscope and no network connection,” Joey pointed out. “Without the database, we’re running blind when it comes to the genome sequences. Danny can only identify, what, ten or twelve of them just by looking?”

Maria smirked into her eggs, but Ramon almost dropped his fork. “Ten…how?!

I waved it off. “They’re ones I see all the time. After a while they start to look familiar, that’s all. I still double-check them on the computer. And Mike, you know better than anyone that the guys and I get all kinds of shit from people for being so active in the field.”

“The people who give you shit are the ones who think you’re stepping on their toes.” Ramon’s scent spiked, then settled back down. Mike didn’t notice, of course, and Joey and I ignored it. “But you being active in the field is why Interpol loves you. Hell, it’s why my guys love you – you don’t cling to the damned lab while other people take all the risks, you treat them like part of your team. And that was the other thing I was thinking about, that maybe we need to change our contract to be more of a business partner relationship instead of a service provider arrangement, but we can discuss that later.”

Maria put down her fork and clapped, and he blushed. “Jorge, they will need t-shirts.”

He raised his juice glass in agreement; nobody but Les was drinking coffee, we all knew we were going to need to sleep sooner rather than later. “Yes, we all will have them. Ours will be edición limitada, though. They should be different from the ones we will sell to el público.”

Mike was lost. “T-shirts?”

“Jorge’s going to sell them at the aquarium,” Joey explained. “I think they should have a cartoon baby fishie on the pocket, and the name should be down the back with the first letters bold.”

Ramon aimed his fork at him. “I figured out what those letters stand for, mi amigo.”

Joey just grinned. “I knew you would eventually. We didn’t plan it that way, though – Les was the one who pointed out what the acronym spelled after we came up with the name.”

Mike frowned, visibly going back over the letters in his head…and then he got it and facepalmed. His scent said he thought it was funny, though. “Finish eating, Doctors.”

We did, and we all made a good job of it, too – by the time Captain Abeyta came back, we’d eaten everything the kitchen had brought us and cleared the table of everything but glasses and cups. He smelled disturbed and angry, and the shaken corporal took up a guard position by the elevator while he came over and dropped into a chair Mike had pulled up for him. “I spoke to them. You were right, they are idiotas. The one, he still thinks he is special and un mártir, he has no remorse for the lives he has taken. The other is filled with it, and has no problem talking, but he also has very little información to be of use. You think his friend is dead?”

Joey nodded. “We figured out early on that Ancient Fire had probably been leading their fishies up the coast by baiting them with cows – that would be in line with the way they do things, and we found cow parts washed up on the beach. But we also found human parts, which are in cold-storage in the resort’s safe. Some of them really obviously came from divers, but it’s more than possible that some didn’t.”

“In Norway, Ancient Fire was catching homeless people and feeding them to their creatures,” I put in when he didn’t seem sure about that idea. “That’s how they were training them to hunt people, by giving them a taste for us.”

He actually shuddered. “I may ask about that, but later. I know you all need to sleep, so I would just have you tell me what happened after you sent Señor Lucas for help. I know it is on la lista, but sometimes a story gains new información when told aloud.”

“Captain Abeya has my statement all the way up to when I left the resort with Mr. Mendoza,” Mike said. “What happened immediately after that?”

“Well, the baby fishie wasn’t dead, and it was still snapping, so we left it speared to the beach and planned to come back out once it had time to die – it was too dangerous to bring it in alive,” I told him. “We came back inside, but when we went out half an hour later the baby fishie was gone, spear and all – someone had pulled it out of the ground and carried it off. The guests were panicking and Ms. Alvarez wasn’t sure how to handle the situation without getting fired, so we took responsibility for talking to the guests.”

“They explained what was going on,” Evan said. “And then they asked for volunteers to help build a sandbag wall farther down the beach, to try to hold back any fishies that came out of the water. I’ve seen walking catfish in action before, in Florida, so I decided to pitch in.”

“I’d talked to Dr. Darling the night before, when the big one showed up just off the shelf,” Randy said. “I’ve helped build a sandbag wall before, I knew most of the other guests probably hadn’t and the staff members were scared to death to leave the pool area.”

“Once the wall was built, we all came back inside again and went to get cleaned up,” Ramon continued. “We had barely gotten to the suite before the staff called us on the intercom, saying the baby fishies were coming out of the water – all of them. When we returned to the pool area, we were told some people had gone over the wall again. We went out to get them…”

“…But we were already too late,” I finished for him. I wasn’t going to make him dance his way through that story – and if we could get the wannabe activists’ video, he’d never have to. “Ramon and I went after the two girls who were farther down the beach, they were taking pictures of the baby fishies. One of them sat down on the sandbags, she was leaning over to get a better picture with her phone, and a fishie jumped up and bit her and she fell on the other side. They swarmed her. Her friend dropped her phone and tried to help, but by the time we reached them she’d already gotten pulled in too and the fishies were starting to use the one girl’s legs as a bridge to get over the wall.”

“We had almost the same thing happen,” Maria said. “One of the friends of the first boy who died, he went out with a pool cue for vengeance. Two other boys went to help him, and they all died. We were surrounded, and trying to fight our way back to the gate, but the people in the pool area had closed it and were barricading it. Danny sent Ramon to go around the front, to try to get the staff to help, and then he fought his way over to us and held them off so that Joey could jump and climb the wall.”

“I was going to try to get the gate open again, but the guests and the staff were panicking and they wouldn’t listen.” Joey picked up the thread where she left off. “So I grabbed a knotted rope from the pool and threw it over the wall, and then some people helped hold it so that Jorge and Maria could climb up, and then Danny jumped up after them. We all started trying to settle people down, herding them into the building because fish can’t open doors or climb stairs, and then Danny got back up on top of the wall and all of a sudden he starts yelling that everyone needs to be up above the third floor because the big one is coming.”

“Daddy Fishie was walking right up out of the shallows,” I confirmed. “Walking, as in he had legs and I could see his knees moving. I stayed up there as long as I could to get footage for us to study, and then I jumped back down and started giving the staff more instructions about evacuating the lower floors. I went up to the third floor myself once everyone was moving, because I wanted to get more footage if I could. I found Les up there…”

“All the commotion woke me up,” Les said. “I’d come to the door of my room to find out what the hell was going on, and all of a sudden Danny here comes running up the hall. He stopped when he saw me and said I needed to get to a higher floor, and he asked where the nearest balcony was. So I showed him, and then I held the door for him and we both took pictures until Big Daddy Fishie spotted us and changed direction. We came up to the roof, I stayed here with the staff member who was keeping watch, his name was Jose, while Danny went back down to their room to clean up and change. Daddy Fishie headbutted the building a few times, and then he got hot and tired and decided to have a poolside nap while his babies flooded the area looking for food.”

“Once we were all here,” Jorge continued, “we decided that we should use what light was left to observe Daddy Fishie. We were also hungry, as none of us had eaten since the morning, so I went down with Ramon and Evan to the third floor to make more observations, and then we were going to go to the temporary dining room on the fourth floor to get food to bring up for everyone.” He made a face. “That did not work out the way we wanted it to. We made observations, and took many pictures, and then we heard the elevator come up. The baby fishies trapped us, we were on top of the furniture in the lobby and we had no weapons.”

“Joey and Maria and I had stayed up here to keep watch with Les,” I said. “We made the list, trying to get a better idea of what was going on, and Les came up with a plan to possibly drive Daddy Fishie back into the water by using the little tiki torch fuel jars as firebombs. It was already getting too dark, though, so we decided to wait for the others to get back and the moon to rise. And then Daddy Fishie started to get active again, so Maria radioed down to let someone know that our people had gone down to see what was up with him from the third floor. But then when she asked for Ms. Alvarez, so we could ask her about the tiki torch refills they had on hand, the guy said he hadn’t seen her and didn’t know where she was. We thought that was weird, so I was going to go down there…and then the elevator came up and I smelled fishies. We managed to corner them with the portable bar, and Les was keeping the elevator from going back down so they couldn’t send up more, so I stuffed a chair between the doors, he got out, and then I got in and pulled the chair in after me to go down to the third floor. I used the chair to block the door again once I got there, blocked the next closest elevator, and found the rest of the squad with hungry baby fishies on one side and Daddy Fishie trying to reach them from the other. The third elevator was already coming up, though, and I could smell the fishies, so as soon as the doors opened I blasted them with a fire extinguisher and then blocked that door too, trapping them inside.”

“He ran ours out onto the balcony and then we shut what was left of the doors on them,” Evan said. “We barricaded the doors to the fire stairs so nobody could come take the elevators back, and we found out that the extinguishers actually kill the baby fishies. So we armed ourselves, pulled chairs into the central elevator just in case the doors opened on a floor full of fishies, and went up to the fourth floor. And there was nobody there. So Ramon and I guarded the elevator while Jorge and Danny went to find all the people.”

“Turns out the kitchen has its own service elevator,” I said. “I smelled incoming fishies and we got in there and helped drive them back into the elevator, and then the sous chef blocked those doors with a portable freezer. We sorted out some guests who were insisting they had to use the elevators, and then we pulled in our chair again and rode the elevator down to the lobby to see if we could put a stop to the fishie delivery system and find Ms. Alvarez.”

“That is also when we realized that the fishies’ filamentos might also be dangerous to humans, so Danny volunteered to leave the elevator first,” Jorge said. That got reactions all the way around the table, and he raised an eyebrow. “We did mention before that he had already been stung by one of them, with no ill effects.”

The horror was still kind of radiating off of Randy, and I blinked at him. “Dude, it’s okay – genetically I’m not a human, I’m a modded human, a hybrid. Yes, some days it sucks. I can’t eat chocolate, I can’t drink tea or certain types of coffee, I have to brush myself down all the time so I don’t shed on everything. But yesterday on the beach, not being human quite possibly saved my life.”

Maria aimed her fork at me. “As soon as we are back in the lab, I am figuring out your species, mi amigo. I can do it, that is one of the things I am best at.”

“You are,” I agreed, raising my glass to her. “First, though, we have to figure out what the fishies’ species is. So far we’ve got at least two fish, an amphibian and a mammal; we’re going to need a spreadsheet to work out this thing’s taxonomy. Or a wall-sized whiteboard.” I abruptly remembered what we were supposed to be talking about. “Oh, yeah, sorry – got distracted. We came out of the elevator in the lobby, and the two idiots were there with waders and rubber boots, using these little sonar devices and what looked like snow shovels to move the fishies around. So we hit them with the extinguishers, and then Evan and I started clearing fishies and looking for the staff while Jorge and Ramon took the idiots up to the roof to be detained.”

“We found the employee door, found the stockrooms and the front desk staff and Ms. Alvarez,” Evan said. “Right then we couldn’t get the fishies out of the rooms, because we didn’t know if the sonar thing was going to have an effect on Danny or not, but we did clear out most of the lobby with the extinguishers and the shovels.”

“And then I came down with Jorge and Ramon and more extinguishers, we tested the sonar device and found out it doesn’t affect canines, and then we cleared the fishies out of the stockrooms and locked that door while Evan and Danny cleared the downstairs kitchen, secured the back door and released the elevator so the kitchen staff could use it again safely. We just started going up and clearing the floors one at a time after that, we let Chef Zabato know he was in charge of the resort, and then we came back to the roof with him and tried to talk to the prisoners.”

“We had tried when they were first brought up,” Les put in. “The loudmouthed one just wanted to swear at us, and the other one was trying to act like he wasn’t so scared he’d already peed his pants twice.” He smirked. “And then of course the rest of the squad came back, Danny said hi to them both, and he peed his pants again. Either that boy drinks too much water or there’s something wrong with him.”

The captain waved that off. “He is just un cobarde. When I was in boot camp, there was a boy who wet himself every time el sargento yelled at us. They had to send him home, I think he became un político.” That made everyone laugh, and he smiled. “You had already told me how you killed the big híbrido, that was well done – I was more than surprised to arrive here and see it lying there, but I was very glad I was not going to have to figure out how to kill it myself. Now, you should all go to your rooms and sleep. I am going to sit here in the sun and drink the resort’s excellent coffee while we wait for the phones to come back, and once you have all rested we can talk about the science behind these fishies.”

It felt kind of anticlimactic, to just get up and shake hands and go back down to the suite…but oh, holy crap, that trundle bed felt like the nicest place I’d ever been in my life. And if I had a few nightmares about waves of fishies covering the ground and people screaming in storerooms, they ended pretty quickly when I felt Maria’s hand pat my fur.

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    • They’d be more likely to bring in la Marina, the Mexican Navy. And yeah, I’m sure it was a big relief for everyone when Mike showed back up with official help – even though the squad had already taken care of so many things on their own. 😉

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