Ferdie da Birdie Presents: Bob Kiwi, Private Eye

Chapter One

It was a quiet morning....was....but no Monday is quiet for long....

The sun shines through the office of Bob Kiwi: Private Eye. Bob and Ferdie nap in their chairs as Iiwi relaxes by the phone. Suddenly, the phone rings, shattering the silence. Ferdie, who had been leaning his chair on its back legs, jolts back, tipping to far for the chair to stay balanced, and falls backwards. Bob jumps at the sound of the phone, smashing up through the ceiling. Iiwi bolts forward, answering the phone as bits of ceiling float down through a kiwi-shaped hole in the ceiling.

Iiwi: Hello?......A Murder?! Weíll be right there! [turns to Ferdie and Bob] Címon, guys! Thereís been a murder at Madame Bobettaís place! [this meets a response of a chorus of groans]

Our heroes stand in front of a huge, turn-of-the-century mansion. Set high on a hill overlooking several acres of gardens and fields, the abode dominates the landscape. The nearest neighbor (not counting servantsí quarters, of course) is several miles away.

Iiwi: THIS is where you girlfriend lives, Bob?
Ferdie
: Wow.
Bob
: Summer Cottage. Every now & then she likes to get away from that big olí mansion she has inland.

Bob climbs the steps and confidently knocks on the door.

Ferdie: [to Iiwi] I donít get it. What does she see in him?
Iiwi
: Well, sheís obviously not out for his money....

Gracie, Bobettaís voluptuous French maid, opens the door.

Gracie: Oh, detectives! Come right on in!
Ferdie
: gaa.....
Iiwi
: [to the drooling Ferdie] THIS is why we donít have a secretary.
Bob
: [striding in familiarly] Thanks, Gracie.
Iiwi
: [to Gracie, pointing at Gracieís stiletto heels] I hope those ruin your arches.
Gracie
: [leaning against door] Theyíll still look better than yours, sweetheart.

The detectives enter the foyer, where Iiwiís war of words with Gracie ends with Bobís discovery of the two prone forms on the floor.

Bob: EGADS! A Double-Murder!
Ferdie
: [indicates unconscious Bobetta] Bob, she fainted.
Iiwi
: Bob, just look for clues, okay?
Bob
: But Iíve already solved the case!
Ferdia
: Oh, really? All-righty, then, whodunnit?
Bob
: The BUTLER did it!
Ferdie
: [pointing at something on the body] Iiwi, did you see...

Bob: Weep! Police Brutality!
Ferdia
: That IS the butler!
Ferdie
: So much for the usual suspects....
[off-panel: HEY! Get your law-abiding hands off me!]

Squeaks enters, dragging Ivan in with him. Sign holder follows at a distance.

Iiwi: Speaking of the usual suspects...
Bob
: Aaaaaah! The Evil Sir Ivan Kiwi!
Squeaks
: Look who I found skulking around outside!
Ivan
: Iíll skulk anywhere I want, thank you very much!

Iiwi: Ivan!
Ivan
: Iiwi!
Iiwi
: What are YOU doing here!?!
Ivan
: ....I was out jogging
Iiwi
: Villains donít jog.
Ivan
: This villain does.
Iiwi
: With your sign holder?
Ivan
: Huh? [turns to Sign Holder] You! ....Didnít I FIRE you?
Sign Holder
: Maybe, sir...
Ivan
: MAYBE?!?
Iiwi
: Ivan!
Ivan
: What!

Iiwi: What are you really doing here?
Ivan
: Not that itís any of your business, but I came to terminate him. [points]
Bob
: WHAT?!
Ivan
: I was pointing at Rhett, Bob.
Bob
: MURDERER!
Ivan
: [shrugging] Hey, I didnít say I was going to kill him. Just terminate him. You know, as in fire.
Ferdia
: He worked for you?
Ivan: He was supposed to tell me - and _only_ me - when important bigwigs came over & what they were up to. But then he started telling others, and snitching on my movements & plans as well.
Squeaks
: So you killed him.
Ivan
: No! Hey, he was Bobettaís butler. Been with her family for years. Killing him wouldíve upset her...
Ferdia
: [aside to Ferdie, indicating the still-unconscious Bobetta] Yeah, we can see that...

Ivan: ...besides, look at this mess! I wouldíve had the decency to do it cleanly....poison, perhaps, or a run-in with a fuel truck...
Ferdie
: [aside to Ferdia] Hmmf....if you ask me, backstabbing is just Ivanís style...
Bob
: [to Ivan] But if you didnít kill him, who did?
Ivan
: I donít know, but Iím gonna help you find out.
All
: Huh?!
Ivan
: ....donít want anyone thinking they can muscle onto my territory...
Ferdie
: Gee, for a moment there I almost thought he was doing it out of a sense of justice....
Ferdia
: Ivan wouldnít know Justice if the courthouse statue fell on him.
Iiwi
: Not that youíll ever get him near a courthouse...
[off-panel: IVAN! Who let YOU in here!?!]

All: Bobetta!
Gracie
: Oh, Madame, you have awakened!
Bobetta
: [wings on hips, looking a little hurt and _very_ angry] I demand an explanation for this, Ivan!
Ivan
: [shrugs] I didnít do it.
Iiwi
: Moreover, heís going to help us find who did.
Bobetta: Pish. Why would the Evil Sir Ivan Kiwi do something like that?
Ferdie
: [under breath] Things must be rather slow in the criminal underworld...

Ivan: [to Squeaks] So, you coppers establish a time of death yet?
Squeaks
: Why, so you can come up with an alibi?
Ivan
: Har har har. [to Bob] Bob? What about you guys?
Bob
: Well, his watch says...
Ivan
: He was stabbed in the back, Bob! Thereís nothing wrong with his watch!
Bob & Ivan
: [glare at each other] grrrrrrrr....

Gracie: If itís any help, Madame retired at 8, and I finished my duties went to my quarters around 10. Rhett was still busy tidying up.... [starts to get teary-eyed. Iiwi notices & rolls her eyes] ...and he was like this when I came down at 6 this morning! [breaks into tears]
[Ferdie moves as if to comfort her, gets LOOKs from Iiwi and Ferdia, moves back to place.]

Iiwi: So weíre looking at a time frame of about 8 hours....
Ivan
: [to Iiwi] Assuming the maid can be trusted.
Ferdia
: [hand on chin, looking thoughtful] Weíll work with that until after the autopsy and lab results come in.

Ivan: What about the gun?
Ferdie
: What gun?
Ivan
: [points to Ferdia] The one sheís got in that baggie there.
Ferdia
: It was found next to the body. Itís got a full clip, and it hasnít been fired recently.
Ivan
: Looks like he was expecting trouble.
Bob
: Any suggestions as to from whom?
[All look at Bob for a minute, suprised at this intelligent question]
Ferdie
: [shrugs] Probably saw it in a movie...
Ivan
: [answering Bobís question] Actually, things have been pretty quiet lately...
[Ferdie, Ferdia, Squeaks, and Bob]: Figures....

Iiwi: Maybe Joeís heard something. [gets surprised looks from all; appreciative glance from Ivan]
Ferdia
: Who?
Ivan
: Joe. Runs a nightclub downtown. Popular place, if you know what I mean. Heís probably heard something-
Squeaks
: - IF anyoneís talking.
Iiwi
: Yeah, but this was a sloppy job. Which means it was probably done by a kid. And kids like to brag.
Ivan
: And the Night Owl is the place to go if youíre hoping to get noticed by more...experienced veterans.
Ferdia
: Like the bosses?
Ivan
: Not exactly. More like the bossesí "Talent Scouts."
Squeaks
: But this was more than just some random act by a kid.
Iiwi
: Wouldnít have to be. If someone ordered this as a hit, Joeís is also where youíd go to learn where your payment can be obtained.
Ivan
: Exactly.

Ferdia: All right, then. Other officers are interviewing the neighbors and staff, but so far no oneís seen anything suspicious. And itíll be another hour or two before the lab results come in; maybe even a day or so for the autopsy. So, as weíve got no other leads at the moment, we might as well give it a shot.
Ivan
: Right. [into wrist communicator] Start the engine.
Squeaks
: And where do you think youíre going?
Ivan
: To my helicopter.
Squeaks
: Oh, no. Youíre coming with us.
Ivan
: Great. [to Iiwi] I love the trust here.
Iiwi
: [shrugs] Donít look at me....

The group heads outside. Off to one side of the "cottage" is a large circular garage with many expensive cars in it. In front of the garage is Bobettaís stretch limo, which her chauffeur is preparing for travel.

Ferdie: [eyes going wide at sight of limo] Wow....
Iiwi
: [flies over to limo, lands on spoiler, scowls] There should be a law against cars this big.
Ivan
: [to Iiwi, muttering] There is. No pink limo can be over one city block in length. You wouldn't believe how much I had to pay to get it enacted. So what does she do? Paints it black. [throws up wings in a defeated gesture] I canít win...

Bob: [to Bobetta] Maybe you should stay here, with the police, where itís safe.
Bobetta
: Iím not afraid.
[A crash is heard. An officer dusting for fingerprints has knocked over a houseplant.]
Bobetta
: Hey! BE CAREFUL! HEY! What are you doing?! STOP IT! Youíre getting everything dirty!

[Bobetta lectures police dusting for prints as Bob rejoins the group, who are admiring Ferdia & Squeaksí prowler.]

Ferdie: Wow, nice squad car.
Ferdia
: 0 to 60 mph in under 4 seconds.
Squeaks
: Shatterproof glass, completely bulletproof, reinforced steel frame, rear engine, watertight passenger compartment, onboard radar and infrared, GPS tracking and positioning, and her tires re-inflate themselves with foam when theyíre punctured. Plus sheís got a waterproof engine, so she wonít stall underwater.
Ferdie
: Double wow.
Ferdia
: Yep. Youíre looking at the future of the police force.

[Suddenly, the prowler explodes in a fantastic burst of flames and smoke. Shrapnel & glass shards fly everywhere.]

Iiwi: Eeee! [leaps into air, backpedals back to the cottage entrance]
Ivan
: [dives into entranceway, behind Sign Holder, who is using the sign as a shield, just before Iiwi lands backwards. Bobetta does the same]
Ferdie
: Whoa! [gets knocked backward]
Ferdia
: Aaah! [shields face]

[The blast clears, leaving a smoldering hole in the ground and several brush fires nearby. Nearby officers rush towards the scene.]

Ivan: [shouting across circuit to Ferdia & Squeaks] Future of the force, huh? I like it!
Ferdia
: [angrily] Noooo! Itís not fair! We just got that car!
Squeaks
: And itís not even our fault this time!
Iiwi
: [shaking wings] Aaah! My wings are singed!
Bobetta
: My GARDEN! [bursts into tears]
Bob
: [running around madly] IíM ON FIRE!!!!!
Ferdie
: [still on back, eyes wide, watching tiny flame on hat brim] Guess this means weíll be taking our car...

Chapter Two

[An old rusty car streaks down the street with Bob on the roof, acting as the siren. Iiwi follows on the wing.]

Bob: Weeeeeeeep! Weeeeeep! Weeeeeep!
Ferdia
: [hand over face] This is embarrassing....
Ivan
: You said it! We could be cruising at 2000 feet in my nice, clean, AIR CONDITIONED whirly-bird, but NOOOOOOO!
Sign Holder
: Sir, youíre squishing me, sir.
Ivan
: Be quiet, kid, or Iíll put you in the trunk with that sign.
Ferdia
: Ivan!
Ivan
: Hey, I didnít mean it, alright?!
Ferdie
: So, any ideas as to why someone would plant a bomb in your prowler, sis?
Ivan
: What, you mean other than the fact that theyíre the only cops in the precinct with ANY chance of solving this case? Oh, wait, hereís one: They were gonna put ME in it!
Ferdia
: Shut up, Ivan. Obviously they wanted us off the case.
Squeaks
: Yeah, which is just whatís gonna happen when the Chief hears about that car...

[Car flies over hill, hits bottom hard. Bob bounces & lands on belly]
Bob
: [picks himself up] Be careful!
Iiwi
: Bob, look out!
Bob
: [looks up] AAAAAAAAAAA!
Ferdia
: [leans out window, looking towards back of car] Wonder why he switched sirens?
[Car streaks under low overpass---emerges with Bob pressed to the roof with his wings over his head]
Bob
: AAAAAAAAAAAAAA! [stands up, balls wings into fists] Youís all KAZY!
[Car swerves around corner, then slams on brakes. Bob goes airborne & tumbles down hood, lands on belly.]
Bob
: [turns toward windshield] Youís Ďa makiní me sooooooo ANGRY!!!

Ferdie: Hey, Squeaks, whatcha doiní? Cops donít have to stop at red lights.
Squeaks
: They do when theyíre in a commandeered junkheap with a kiwi for a siren.
Ferdie
: [indignant] Hey, itís a company car!

Iiwi: [perched on rear of car as Bob climbs back onto the roof] Howíre you doing, Bob?
Bob
: [facing towards front of car] So Angry! SO ANGRY!
[Bob is still standing on the roof dusting himself off when the light turns green. Squeaks floors the gas pedal. Bob, still ranting and unaware that the light has changed, is caught off-guard.]
Bob
: So ANGR---EEEEEEEEEEE! [thrown off feet, hangs onto edge of roof]
Iiwi
: Bob!
Bob
: TOO FAST! TOO FAST!!!

Car swerves into alley, then takes another turn ---

Sign Holder: [panicking, grabs Ivan in a cowering sort of hug] Aaa! I donít want to die, sir!
Ivan
: Hey, kid, leggo!
Ferdie
: [wide-eyed, leaning forward] Squeaks! Youíre going the wrong way! This is a ONE-WAY street!!
Squeaks
: Hey this is where HE told me to turn! [thumbs toward Ivan, who is still trying to separate himself from a hysterical Sign Holder]
Ivan
: HEY! I SAID GO STRAIGHT and THEN TURN RIGHT!
Squeaks
: [turns in seat, motions off to right] But the pubís right up there!
Ferdia
: [dives for steering wheel, narrowly avoiding a head-on collision with an oncoming truck] Squeaks! Keep your eyes on the road!
Ivan
: MY way would have taken us in the back way, so no oneíd see us coming! You know what you two badgesí barging in there is gonna do? Itíll --- Wait! What are you doing?!?

Squeaks jerks the wheel all the way to the left. The car swerves into a fishtail, bounces off the curb, & gets hit in the rear, coming to rest safely right next to the curb. Bob, however, is thrown off at the fishtail. Iiwi dives to catch him (Iíve got you, Bob!), but doesnít have enough room and pulls up as Bob hits the pubís plate glass window. (Oh, wait, I donít got you...) Inside the bar, the patrons look over in surprise as Bob smacks into the window, causing a huge crack. Bob slowly slides down the cracked window, hits the sill, and falls backward into the street. The bar patrons look at each other in disbelief for a moment before most of them resume their tasks.

Iiwi: Bob! Are you okay? Do you want some aspirin?
Bob
: [still lying on back] Oooooh.....dead.

[Group starts getting out of car. Ferdie pries the sign holder off his neck.]
Ivan
: [to Squeaks] Well, thanks ever so much for that hair-raising experience. Next time I think Iíll just strap myself to a cruise missile.
Ferdie
: [staggering around a bit] Now I know what a ball bearing feels like!
Sign Holder
: [swaying] Mommy, I donít wanna ride the roller coaster any more...
Ferdia
: From now on, I drive.
Ferdie
: Oh, GREAT. That IS being strapped to a cruise missile. [Ferdia gives him a LOOK. He flashes a cheesy smile] er.....

[Having recovered, the Sign Holder is trying to open the trunk. But, because of the new dent from their collision, he finds it jammed shut.]

Sign Holder: Hey, the trunk wonít open! Sir?
Ivan
: [waves wing dismissivly] Great, kid, great. Look, go *home* and keep your eyes and ears open.
Sign Holder
: Am I fired, Sir?
Ivan
: Donít be ridiculous. See if any of the guys have heard anything about Butler. Just donít let them know what Iím doing.
Sign Holder
: [saluting] Yes, Sir! [runs off]
Ivan
: [bowing towards group, motioning towards door] After you, detectives.

Chapter Three

The pub is silent, its patrons, having glanced out the cracked window, now curious of the new arrivals. Iiwi and Ferdia enter first, followed by Ferdie and a still-dazed Bob. Unable to convince all of his sincerity, Ivan enters next, followed by Squeaks. Iiwi and Ferdia get a few whistles and cat-calls until Ferdia rests her hand on her holster & flashes her badge. Again the pub falls silent. Squeaks gets a few stares. Bob staggers around as if heís already drunk. Joe Kiwi is working the bar, and pauses to check out the newcomers.

Ivan: Okay, just go mingle. Shoo! Iíll call you if I find out anything.
[Group begins to disperse. Ivan makes his way to the bar.]

Ferdie: [to Squeaks] Shouldnít one of us watch the car?
Squeaks
: Hmph. As if anyone here is desperate enough to steal it.
Ferdie
: Hey, weíre not exactly in a *nice* part of town...
Squeaks
: I wouldnít worry about it. The insurance is probably worth more than the scrap metal.
Ferdie
: grrrr......

Ferdia: [to Bob] Bob, how many fingers am I holding up?
Bob
: Iím only three and a half years old...
Ferdia
: Here, Bob, take some Advil.
Bob
: Whazzat?
Ferdia
: Advil, Bob. Take some.

Joe: Ivan? That you?
Ivan
: Yeah, itís me.
Joe
: Almost didnít recognize you there for a minute. You know, without the sign & all....
Ivan
: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Listen, Joe, I know itís been awhile, but -
Joe
: Hey, yeah, it has been, hasnít it? Whatís with the badges?
Ivan
: Somebody took out Rhett Butler last night. Sloppy job with a fancy knife. You hear anything?
Joe
: Rhett Butler, huh? Isnít he Madame Bobettaís butler?
Ivan
: He was.
Joe
: He one of yours?
Ivan
: He was.
Joe
: Iím beginning to see why the badges. Well, lemme think here....hmm...
Ivan
: Happened sometime between 10pm & 6am. Nothing taken from the scene. Figure it was probably a kid.
Joe
: Kid, huh? Well, there was this one guy, came in late last night, bragginí bout Ďis first hit....Not exactly a kid, but not really old...early twenties, I guess...
Ivan
: Do tell...
Joe
: ....Not much to tell, actually. Broke in, got the target alone from behind, left.
Ivan
: Thatís it?
Joe
: Sorry. Danny got Ďim all riled up --- seems he didnít take anything to fake a botched robbery. Said the hitís instructions were not to touch anything, not even the body. I gathered he even left the weapon there! Dumb cluck....

Bar Patron: [to buddy] Hey, ainít that the cop that strapped a jet engine to her squad car?
Ferdie
: [to Ferdia] WHAT?!
Ferdia
: Hey, we were doing just fine until the spoiler came off & we went airborne.
Ferdie
: AIRBORNE?!
Ferdia
: You wouldnít believe how much my paycheck got docked for that one....
Ferdie
: Was this that time your old partner had a heart attack during the car chase?
Ferdia
: Uh, yeah...I think he started having trouble when we reached a couple hundred feet & the engine fell off....
Ferdie
: [to himself] And she wonders why no one in the force wants to be her partner....

Ivan: You get a name?
Joe
: Naw. Sorry. Didnít think much of Ďim at the time. Figured he was new blood, you know? The type bosses send out on the bad jobs, so they donít lose more experienced guys to the law? That way, as first-time offenders, the kids get less-severe sentences, so theyíre not watched as closely in the can. Makes Ďem easier to break out, and all...
Ivan
: I know. Whatíd he look like?
Joe
: Nothiní special about him, really. Just your average, gray-brown bird. Dressed like all the other young punks....oh, except that he wore a little silver cross. A young Family member, maybe...
Iiwi
: ...But you canít say for sure, eh, Joe?
Joe
: Iiwi! Long time no see!
Iiwi
: Yeah, well, Iíve been busy...
Joe
: Hey, yeah, so Iíve heard. Howíd that thing in London go? What was that, seven, eight months ago?...
Ivan
: London? You were in London?

Iiwi: [ignoring Ivan] Which wayíd this kid go, Joe?
Joe
: Hailed a taxi going west.
Ivan
: West? That doesnít make any sense....nobody operates west of here...
Iiwi
: Yeah, itís all hotels and highway...
Ferdia
: [from behind group] ...and the airport...
Iiwi & Ivan
: [look at each other] the airport....
Ferdie
: [Joining in] Think he skipped town?
Squeaks
: Sounds like he tried to.
Ferdie
: What do you mean?
Squeaks
: I was listening to the scanner. A body -- or at least whatís left of one -- was just found on a runway.

Bob: Oooh...I feeling better now. Whatís new?
Iiwi
: Weíre going to the airport.
Bob
: Iím NOT riding on the outside ANY MORE! Thereís no seatbelts, Iís getting windburned, and I _HATE_ swallowing bugs!
Ferdie
: Donít worry about that, Bob. Ferdiaís driving this time. You wouldnít last ten seconds on the roof.
Ferdia
: Would you rather WALK, brother dearest?
Ferdie
: [under breath] Not with drivers like YOU on the road...
Joe
: Iíll let you know if I hear anything. [to Iiwi and Ivan] Hey you two! Donít be strangers!

Group begins to leave pub. On the way out, Ivan walks next to Iiwi.
Ivan
: Say, Iiwi, didnít a lot of the crown jewels disappear a couple of months ago?
Iiwi
: I...seem to remember hearing about that....The Tower reported some missing, several museums came up short on their inventories...
Ivan
: What exactly were you doing in London eight months ago?
Iiwi
: Seeing the sights.
Ivan
: Uh-huh...

Chapter Four

An old beat-up car screams down crowded city streets, its hazard lights flashing. Iiwi again follows just above and behind the car. Car runs a red light.

Ferdie: I thought unmarked cars couldnít run lights.
Ferdia
: I donít care. I remember hearing something about the airport this morning, and I havenít heard any planes overhead all day. So I kinda want to get there now, and find out whatís going on. Any problems with that?
Ivan
: No problems with that whatsoever. THAT, on the other hand... [points ahead of car]
Ferdie
: Yaaaaaa! DUCK!
Bob
: A duck? Where? Whatís so bad about a ----AAAAAA!

Ahead of the car, blocking the road, sits an 18-wheeler truck, its driver trying to figure out how to maneuver it into the docking bay of the warehouse behind it. Ferdia slams on the brakes, but - "Your brakes are out!" -the car doesnít slow and continues to barrel straight toward the truck.

Ferdia: Little bro, youíre about to get a convertible!
Ferdie
: [praying] Yea though I walk through the valley of death...
Ivan
: [diving under seat] If anyone needs me, Iíll be on the floor...
Bob
: [pressed on belly over seat, wings over head] AAAAAAAAA!!

Car streaks beneath belly of truck. The roof is peeled back and flops down over the trunk, hanging on by what is left of the back supports. The truck driver leans out his passenger window, yelling and shaking his fist. Iiwi (who has flown over the truck) glides down and lands on the dangling roof. Roof supports her for a minute, then completely disconnects from car and clatters to the ground, forcing her back into the air.

Iiwi: Are you guys okay?
Ferdie
: [clutching at heart]
Bob
: Weep weep weep weep....
Ivan
: [emerges triumphantly] Hey, I found a quarter down here!
Squeaks
: [looking back towards truck] What does that gesture mean?
Ivan
: [follows his gaze] Letís just say itís not an expression of good will.
Bob
: [leaning out back of car, shouting to truck driver] Oh, YEAH? Well, you can just skitch my bootie!
Ferdia
: [muttering] Was that an insult or a threat?
Squeaks
: Dunno. Maybe we should take the highway.
Ferdia
: Good idea. Thatíll be faster, anyway.
Ferdie
: Faster? You mean weíre not already at terminal velocity?

Ferdia ignores him, enters the highway, and swings into the left lane, weaving into the breakdown lane to pass cars that fail to yield the lane to her. Iiwi flies high, to scout for traffic and keep from falling behind. Ivan dozes in the back seat. Car roars past highway sign that says: "Split Bridge: 2 miles."

Bob: Did that say BRIDGE?!?
Ivan
: [opening one eye to look at Bob] Huh?
Ferdie
: How can you SLEEP at this SPEED?!
Ivan
: Donít travel by jet much, do you?
Bob
: [looking at another sign] It DID! It DID say BRIDGE!
Squeaks
: You okay back there?
Bob
: I no like a bridge! No bridge! No Bridge!
Ivan
: Oh, be quiet. You and your phobias....[muttering] afraid of a bridge...
Squeaks
: Heís afraid of bridges? Of all the...
Ferdie
: [interrupting] Bob, Iím sure the sign didnít really say bridge. These high speeds must be making you delirious.
Ferdia
: I heard that!
Bob
: Look! Another sign!....Wait, that sign says "BR." Does that stand for Bridge?!?
Ferdia
: No, it stands for "Bunny Rabbit."
Bob
: Oh, okay. I like bunny rabbits. No bridge. Good.

Bridge comes into view.

Bob: ....That looks like a bridge...
Ferdie
: But the sign said it was a bunny rabbit, not a bridge.
Bob
: I dunno....it sure _looks_ like a bridge...
All
: ITíS A BUNNY RABBIT!!!
Bob
: Are you sure?
All
: YES!
Ferdia
: Oh, shoot, theyíre raising the bridge.
Bob
: Bridge?
Ferdie
: No big deal. We just stop and wait for the ship to go under.

Ferdia floors the gas, shifts gears.

Bob: Why are we speeding up?

[No answer]

Ferdie: Uh, sis? We ARE gonna stop, right?

Car crashes through lowering barrier.

Bob: AAAAA! BRIDGE!!!! AAAAAAAAAA!!!!!....
Ferdie
: ARE YOU INSANE?! This isnít "Speed!"
Squeaks
: [calmly] Ainít a bus, either.
Ivan
: I shouldíve just stayed in bed. Stayed at home, read the paper, polished instruments of torture...
Ferdia
: Fasten your seatbelts and prepare for takeoff!
Ferdie
: Oh, I hope all my earthly affairs are in order...
Squeaks
: Aw, címon. We simulate this all the time!
Ivan
: Does it work?
Squeaks
: [shrugs] Sometimes...
Ferdie and Bob
: [look at each other] AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!...

Car roars over gap (well, perhaps "screams" would be a better word, considering how many are coming from the car...), lands straddling the opposite half. Ferdia guns the engine and car pulls itself back onto the bridge and down the slope.

Bob: You should get a speeding ticket!
Ferdia
: Quiet, Kiwi, or Iíll do it again!
Bob
: Well-behaved kiwi. I am always in a state of quietness. No hurt the kiwi.
Ivan
: ...remind me to ask you later if youíd be interested in a position as one of my pilots...
Ferdia
: Hmm?
Ivan
: ...Iíd feel much safer if I knew you werenít driving on the same roads I use.
Ferdia
: [angrily] Excuse me?
Ivan
: Never mind. Iíll just mail you a helicopter. Although, come to think of it, youíd probably be more suited to a supersonic jet...
Ferdie
: Oh, yeah, thereís a GREAT idea. Then we wouldnít even _know_ we were in danger until AFTER she flew by and we were safe again.
Iiwi
: [over radio] Nice stunt. Airportís next right, okay? Meet you there.

Chapter Five

Car speeds to airport, screeches to a halt in front of the main terminal, near several squad cars. Nearby officers take cover, then relax as they recognize the driver. The group approaches a group of officers containing Casey, Trevor, and a rookie.

Rookie: Hey, Squeaks, Ferdia! Is that the "squad car of the future" weíve heard so much about?
Casey
: Great for plainclothes work, I guess. No oneíd ever expect a cop in THAT.
Ferdia
: Hey, can it, guys. Our car blew up.
Trevor
: Wow, totaled after half a day of work with you two, eh?
Ferdia
: [icily] Shut up.
Squeaks
: Car bomb.
Casey
: Whoa. Man, you two sure do have a lot of loyal admiring fans.
Iiwi
: [landing] Hey, you guys know youíve got a flock of squad cars coming in behind you?
Ferdie
: [rolling eyes] Figures...

Squeaks: [to officers] What are you doing out here, if the body was found on the runway?
Rookie
: It was found between some luggage carts, actually. And we just finished evacuating the airport.
Casey
: That what youíre here for? We thought youíd already been assigned a case today.
Ferdia
: We think your stiff may have been responsible for an uptown murder sometime after ten last night.
Trevor
: If he was, he didnít have much time to do it. Coroner here thinks he died around two, maybe three. And it takes a good hour and a half to get from uptown to here.
Ferdie
: [under breath, indicating Ferdia and Squeaks] Yeah, unless one of those two are driving...
Casey
: Anyway, come with me if you want to take a look. Wonít get much in the way of physical description, though...
[Casey takes group in direction of runways.]
Rookie: [to Trevor] Say, isnít that the Evil Sir Ivan Kiwi?
Trevor
: Naw, couldnít be. He doesnít have a sign holder. Besides, what would he be doing with a bunch of detectives?
Rookie
: I guess youíre right...
Trevor
: ...Remarkable resemblance, though....

Cop: [standing next to Casey] Our preliminary inspection leads us to believe that the victim was stuffed into a suitcase and thrown into a bonfire...
Ivan
: Looks more like he was hiding with the luggage when the cart blew.
Iiwi
: Yes, thereís definitely evidence of an explosion...
Ferdie
: What, you mean the burned suitcases strewn around about 50 ft from the cart?
Bob
: No, I think she means all this black ash radiating out from right about....[walks a few paces away from cart, stands in an area with less ash and a small circular spot]....here.
Ferdia
: Hey, wait, that would mean the explosion originated there, not in the cart...
Iiwi
: Lemme get a better view of this. [takes flight, circles the scene] ...Much better. Yeah, from up here it looks like it went off where Bob is standing. Mustíve been pretty powerful to still knock over and scorch that cart.
Squeaks
: Itís a wonder no one saw the light flash from the explosion, though...
Ivan
: Not really. Only thing out here is the airport, and there arenít many flights that late. Nothing else around for miles. So maybe someone saw it, but figured it was just some kids with fireworks or something...
Ferdie
: So, if the explosion was that powerful, whereíd you find the body?
Casey
: All over the place.
Ferdie
: [turning green] Oh.

Flying above, Iiwi notices something shiny on the runway.
Iiwi
: Hey, guys! Look at this! [dives toward spot where shiny thing is]
Ferdia
: [putting on a pair of sterile gloves] Let me see...

She holds the object in the sunlight. Blacked by smoke and melted by the extreme heat of the explosion, it is the remains of a silver chain.

Ivan: A silver cross on a chain. Guess this was our guy, then.
Iiwi
: Wonder who blew him up?
Ferdie
: [looking around himself, _very_ careful of where he steps] I wonder where the _rest_ of him landed...
Casey
: Mostly all around here. Looks like the guys have already cleaned him up, though. [Accepts silver from Ferdia] Only large piece we found was part of the lower torso.
Iiwi
: Mustíve had a bomb in his pocket....
Ivan
: Either disguised as payment or to be traded for payment....
Squeaks
: Exactly HOW did you guys come to the initial conclusion that heíd been burned?
Cop
: Well, heíd have to be in pieces to fit in a suitcase, right?....Besides, we were entertaining the idea that someone had set off a bomb afterwards....
Squeaks
: SURE you were....

Bob: [from the other side of the runway, where everyone left him] Hey, guys! Lookit! [runs toward them, waving something] I found a CLUE!
Ferdia
: [to Ferdie] If heís talking about the game, I swear, Iíll...
Ferdie
: Hey, Bobís not THAT dense....er...[fumbles as Bob hands him a candlestick]
Squeaks
: Um....And why is this a clue?
Bob
: Because, it came with matches! [collective groan] And the matches came from a club! [a few looks of interest] And the clubís name is still readable on the matches! [suddenly, all are interested. Some look on in amazement] AND the name of the club is....the Marlin!

Ivan: The Marlin? Bob, the Marlin isnít a club! The Marlin is -
Iiwi
: - a hotel on the Hawaiian coast!
Ivan
: [to Iiwi] Now how did you know that?
Iiwi
: Iíve flown past it once or twice....iiwi birds are Hawaiian birds, remember?...
Ferdia
: But did he get the matches there?
Ivan
: From his description before and the sloppy way the job was done, Iíd say, no.
Iiwi
: Bob, whereíd you find the matches?
Bob
: [proudly] Over by Hangar 14. Somebody was a smokiní stinky cigars...
Ivan
: [a little worriedly] Hangar 14? You sure?
Ferdia
: Why, whatís so special about Hangar 14?
Ivan
: Nothing. Itís just that I keep my private planes in Hangar 13...
Ferdia
: Figures.
Squeaks
: Any idea who rents Hangar 14?
Ivan
: [eyes narrowing] Not a clue. But smoking isnít allowed anywhere near the planes.

Group crosses runway to the hangars. Casey examines the remains of the cigar.

Casey: Looks like it was expensive. Cuban?
Ivan
: [appreciatively] Smells Cuban.
Squeaks
: And how would you know?
Ivan
: Hey, just because I donít smoke doesnít mean Iíve never been to a place with Cuban cigars!
Iiwi
: Arenít they given to guests of merit at the Marlin?
Ivan
: Dunno...I never got any...
Squeaks
: I think the key words in that question were "guests of merit"...
Iiwi
: Ivan would be considered a guest of merit at the Marlin.
Squeaks
: That kind of place, huh?
Ferdia
: Think our bomber came from there?
Squeaks
: Weíd have to check the flight logs for the last couple weeks...
Ferdia
: Ugh, paperwork....

Iiwi: Wait, what if our guy came here for payment or a flight to his payment?
Ivan
: Hey, yeah, heíd have had something that identified him as the hit...or as the employee, as he thought...
Iiwi
: So he offered the matches to his contact as identification....
Ivan
: And his contact "paid" him, then sent him packing and sat back and watched the show. Yeah, that makes sense...

Ferdia: If the experts on the criminal mind are done speaking amongst themselves, would they mind letting us in on their conversation?
Ivan
: We think the victim came here, identified himself to his contact by showing the matches, and was given a "letter bomb" of sorts, judging from the size of the explosion.
Iiwi
: What we donít know is whether he was given payment, or an airline ticket....
Ferdie
: Not that it really matters now...
Bob
: So where did the other killer go?
Squeaks
: Thereís some tracks leading into the hangar...
Ferdia
: [joining Squeaks in front of Hangar 14] So letís open it up and see where they go from there...

Casey: [to Ferdie and Bob as Ferdia and Squeaks open the hangarís doors] You know, we did get a call last night about an explosion near the airport....a passing motorist reported seeing a bright flash of light, as a plane took off...
Ferdie
: A plane took off? But I thought there were no late night flights?
Bob
: Hmm...the plot thickens....Maybe we _should_ look at some of those flight logs Ferdia was talking about....

The hangar door opens, revealing -- nothing. Hangar 14 is empty; the tracks lead to the middle of the hangar and then stop.

Bob: Ah! He disappeared! Heís a ghost!
Iiwi
: Bob, donít be silly! He got into a plane!
Bob
: A plane? But thereís no plane here! And no plane tracks!
Ivan
: Why should there be? The plane obviously left, and its wheels wouldnít have ash on them until it left the hangar, so it wouldíve left tracks...
Bob
: On the runway! Of course! Silly kiwi!

The three rush back out onto the runway. Iiwi again flies up a couple dozen feet, reporting her "birdís eye" view of the scene to the others.

Ivan: How about this right here, Iiwi? The streaks in the ash?
Iiwi
: Looks like they head out a couple hundred feet, pretty straight, then one set disappears, then the other two go.
Bob
: Aha! Plane tracks!
Ferdia
: Looks like we have one late-night takeoff, direct from Hangar 14.
Ferdie
: Sis, your badged buddy over there [indicates Casey] said a motorist reported seeing a plane taking off after a bright flash of light...
Squeaks
: Not very smart of them.
Iiwi
: Not necessarily...
Ivan
: After midnight around here there are only two or three air traffic controllers on duty. They mightíve noticed the takeoff, but didnít report it.
Squeaks
: Why wouldnít they report it?
Ferdia
: Because, after midnight, our airport doesnít run airline flights, and the airport becomes "free flight." Meaning that private planes are allowed to take off and land without tower assistance. Itís a stupid system, security-wise...
Iiwi
: Theyíd still be required to file a flight plan, but they could always change it, announcing a course deviation to a remote field due to "engine trouble" or something like that. Once they went under the nearest towerís radar, they could either land and change planes or just not land and fly under the radar for a while. Easy enough to do, this close to the coast. They could even fake a crash into the ocean...
Bob
: Maybe we should ask the air traffic controllers?
Ferdia
: Good idea, Bob.
Trevor
: [walking toward hangar] Weíve already done that. You want a copy of their statements?
Ferdia
: Yeah, but weíre in a hurry, so weíll just look at your copy. [takes statements from Trevor]
Squeaks
: [reading over Ferdiaís shoulder] Here we are: 1:45 am. Noticed large explosion coming from runway 5. A few moments later, Maggie saw a twin-engine jet taking off from the direction of explosion. Engine noise masked by sound of explosion; could not establish radio contact with plane due to explosionís shockwave, which took out our antennae...
Ferdia
: Crap, that means that...
Squeaks
: ...flight plan identified jet as Flight 911 from San Viano to San Fernando Bay. Jet appeared to be off-course but could not verify heading. Phoned nearest towers, none ever registered plane on radar. Suspect jet was damaged during takeoff and crashed somewhere over ocean, due to compass-measured takeoff heading.
Iiwi
: Told you theyíd fake an ocean crash. Without ever registering on radar, even the navy wonít know where to look for that jet...
Ivan
: Which means they almost made a perfect getaway.
Ferdie
: Almost?
Ivan
: [points to Bob] The matches...their heading....
Iiwi
: ....if we didnít know where the Marlin was, weíd be at a dead end.
Ferdia
: Yeah, this particular killing does have that professional sheen to it...

Cop: [smugly] Too bad it ainít your case. [snatches statements away]
Ferdia
: It is so!
Cop
: Your case was to find out who killed Rhett Butler. You may not have a name yet, but youíve got youíre suspect...
Casey
: Whatís left of him, anyway....
Squeaks
: [grabbing statements back] We still havenít established a motive. Therefore, since the cases are interrelated, we can continue our investigation.
Casey
: [to Cop] Theyíre right, you know...
Cop
: [in a condescending tone] So, whatíre you planning to do? Fly out to Hawaii and check into this hotel? Like the Chief is really gonna believe thatís part of your investigation.
Ferdia
: [mad] You, you, you......ooooooh!
Trevor
: [joining group] Besides, even if you convince Chief itís legit, Iíd say that squad car just about blew your spending on this case...no pun intended....so youíd have to spring for air fare and the hotel lodgings yourselves.
Cop
: And Iím betting youíre still smarting from that museumís repair bill...
Ferdie
: Museum? Repair bill?
Ferdia
: Hey, they called us in their to catch a group of terrorists, we caught the group of terrorists.
Casey
: You caused over $5 million damage!
Ferdia
: They would have blown up the entire city block! How much damage would THAT have done?!
Ivan
: Not to interrupt --
Ferdia
: Then DONíT!! [to cops] What are a few hundred smashed fossils really worth, anyway? Did anyone here actually go to the Crustacean wing of the building? No? What about the insect collections? Or the--
Ivan
: HEY! This is the voice of reason speaking! I can fly us over and I can pay the lodgings!
Rookie
: [to Trevor] Yeah, you were right, that DEFINITELY isnít the Evil Sir Ivan Kiwi.
Bob
: [to Ferdie] I think Iím being delirious again...
Ferdie
: [to Bob] No, he really did say what you think he said...

Squeaks: How do you intend to do that, exactly? With the radar out, all airlines are being re-routed around San Fernando...
Ivan
: Think, genius. Hangar 13? My plane? Itís a private jet. Which means it can still take off from here if you coppers allow a free-flight takeoff.
Iiwi
: And thereís about as much air traffic at this airport right now that it might as well be late at night...
Ferdie
: I donít know how much I want to fly in Ivanís "private jet"...
Casey
: Well....I suppose, with all this investigative work, that weíd be too busy to notice a small jet taking off...
Ferdia
: Thanks, Case!
Ivan
: Great, great. Lemme wake my pilot...

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