Bureau of Monster Capture and Rehabilitation
Volume 1: Boot Camp
By Wulfric Van Howlietzer
The skies blackened and rumbled overhead the Library of Congress in Washington DC. Rain. Thunder and lightning punctuated the splattering drops that pelted a black umbrella as it moved closer to the entrance. Underneath it, a gentleman muttered obscenities as he watched the water splat his Berluti leather shoes. Every step was torture as he felt the water soak in, ruining that brand new leather, climbing up his Gucci socks, and settling in the cuffs of his Kiton wool-cashmere trousers. At least his anger kept him warm.
Gerald R. Crouse, a wealthy gentleman of significant caliber amongst his peers, which there were not many, enjoyed a lifestyle that most dream about. Though he was annoyed at the cracking state f his new shoes, tomorrow he could replace them without batting an eye.
He worked for a group known as Excalibur, a secret organization that even the Illuminati didn’t know about. Their aim was peace amongst all peoples of the world. It was his job to locate possible threats to this agenda and either eliminate them or recruit them.
He walked up the steps of the Library of Congress and pulled out a long, silver key in the shape of a broadsword. It looked more like a letter opener than a key, but it slid into the lock perfectly, unlocking the door and allowing him entrance.
Tonight was not unusual. Once a quarter the Excalibur group called the Servicemen, which Crouse was a part of, to the Library of Congress after hours to go over assignments. There were seven of them, six too many from Crouse’s point of view, but he wasn’t in charge, and as long as the money flowed, he wasn’t going to argue about it.
He closed his umbrella, shook it vigorously, and left it in the metal umbrella stand by the door. He brushed off his O’Connor blazer and navigated the hallowed hallways to the main reading room, a circular room of desks, a literal cathedral of literacy, its archways pronouncing a mission towards higher learning. A mission of cooperation towards a common good… Fitting.
It was quiet. He raised his wrist to look at his Breitling watch. Right on schedule, he thought. As always, his employers were probably in another room. Their meetings were run by intercom. It seemed pointless to Crouse. He figured they could have meetings one on one on the phone, but the group preferred it this way.
Crouse made his way to the front podium and pressed a call button underneath.
“Gerald Crouse is here,” he spoke into the microphone.
There was a single light in the whole room. He might as well have been alone.
“We see you Crouse. Welcome. Have you seen any of the others on your way in?”
The voice was robotic. Crouse suspected a voice modulator; he and the rest were given them when communicating with their subordinates.
“No. I didn’t see anyone as I walked up. What is my assignment, if I may ask?”
“That will become clear soon. We will wait for the rest to assemble.”
Crouse sighed. ‘As always,’ he thought. He sat down and began to play on his phone: the latest iPhone. A minute later a woman walked in. She was thin, toned, spray tanned, and wearing a long, gaudy pink raincoat.
Her bleach blond hair pulled back into a ponytail, she smiled coyly at Crouse as she walked in, dropping her raincoat, revealing her tan bare belly with a navel ring. Crouse rolled his eyes and went back to his phone.
Her ensemble resembled a promiscuous teenage girl, but she was obviously a woman in her mid 40’s.
“Good evening, Gerry,” she said saucily, as she hugged his head with her big breasts nearly smothering him.
‘Fake!’ he thought.
He could feel her nipple rings through the insignificant garment that passed as a shirt. Angrily he pushed her off of him.
She laughed. “Still a party pooper, huh?” she said, her voice deep and raspy.
“Still an indecent tart?”
“Girls just want to have fun, Gerry,” she said. “And this girl is missing a college party at Howard University.” She pulled out her phone and took a selfie.
Crouse shook his head and looked again at his Breitling. ‘They’re late,’ he thought. ‘How unprofessional.’
She pushed the call button, “Eugenia Stern is present.”
“We see you. Please sit quietly and wait for the rest.”
Three more gentlemen walked in and proceeded to the call button. One by one, Siftlove, Cassell, and Newton announced their presence and shortly after the final two ladies walked in. Mavris and Blott. The meeting could finally commence, much to Crouse’s relief.
“Servicemen, welcome!” sounded the voice. “We’d like to thank you for your most recent work. Securing the bigfoot monster was not easy, but Mission Red Wood, headed by Serviceman Blott, was pivotal to our new number one task: Codename Monster Mash…”
“Monster Mash?!” shouted Newton, who had been playing on his phone sinse the moment he walked in. “Was it a graveyard smash?”
Silence. Cassell smiled. Blott rolled her eyes.
“Shut up, you stupid kid!” said Siftlove under his breath.
Newton, Crouse reminisced, was the newest member of the Servicemen, and the youngest. With Siftlove’s temper, meetings almost always ended in a fiery inferno. A smile crept onto his face; he moved his hand over his mouth so as not to give credence to Newton’s joke, but it was mostly because he found it hilarious how easily Siftlove was provoked. ‘Surely both these men hold no candle to me,’ he thought.
“If we may go on with the meeting…”
“I just would like to interject, before we go any further,” said Mavris, “Mission Red Wood was a team effort between Serviceman Blott and myself…”
“No one cares!” shouted Siftlove.
“Now Mr. Siftlove,” said Serviceman Cassell, “Miss Mavris was only saying that without her help, Mission Red Wood might not have gone over too well. There is no need to get angry over someone’s much-needed validation…”
A vein popped in Siftlove’s head. Mavris glared at Cassell.
“Oh God…” said Serviceman Stern, sinking low in her chair. “Can we please move on?”
‘Always a joy,’ thought Crouse, ‘Working with these idiots…’
“Silence!” came the robotic voice again. “This meeting does not need to last more than 30 minutes. There are only a couple more assignments that need to be divied out for our next goal to be reached.
“Servicemen Cassell and Newton. You will make your final assessment of Ft. Wichman. I want a full report written in my inbox in three weeks. Do you think you can handle that, Serviceman Newton?”
“Why are you singling me out?”
“I’ll make sure he gets it done,” said Serviceman Cassell, before Serviceman Siftlove suffered an aneurysm.
“Thank you, Serviceman Cassell.”
Serviceman Mavris continued to glare at him.
She turned away to look into the darkness of the room, trying to find that disembodied voice.
“We have an agent in Moscow who has been working closely with one of our acquisitions. You will be picking her up. We have our suspicions about Russia handing over it’s greatest weapon, but… Well, keep both ears alert while retrieving it.”
“Understood. I won’t let you down” she said, clasping her hands and bowing in the direction of the darkness.
Serviceman Cassell rolled his eyes.
“We have a rather challenging asset for you to acquire. Check your inbox for a dossier. He has been spotted in the Appalachian’s at various campgrounds. Unregistered. We believe he comes from the UK. You have all you need to know to find and subdue him. Please keep all your outbursts in email format. We can ignore them better that way.”
Serviceman Siftlove eyes grew wide. Newton stifled a laugh as Cassell cleared his throat.
Serviceman Stern sat upright in her seat.
“We’ve assembled a team of Gaelics to help you on this one. Your target is somewhere in the middle of Loch Ness…”
“Nessie!? She gets to get Nessie?!” Newton shouted.
Siftlove glared at him and Stern stuck her tongue out and winked at him.
“Serviceman Newton, your lack of commitment and vigor has lost you such an assignment. You are lucky we value your presence at all. At least Siftlove accomplishes his assignments on time.”
Siftlove sat up proudly as Cassell and Mavris rolled their eyes.
“Lastly, Serviceman Crouse.”
“There has been a big to do in a podunk town called Point Pleasant West Virginia. A shadow man has been seen–the town has confirmed him as the Mothman. He’s making a name for himself as a hero. We believe he would make an excellent addition to the exercise.”
Crouse smiled. ‘Kid’s stuff…’
“Hold on, Sirs and Madams,” said Blott. “What is the purpose of all this? Ft. Wichman has been one of the United State’s most top secret training facilities. What is the aim?”
The Serviceman all turned to Blott and then to the darkness.
“Let’s just say we are bringing more light to the world.”