“What on earth happened here?” Christy demanded as she walked into the museum.
“We’re not sure,” one of the museum workers replied, “The fire alarm was triggered and everyone left, this all happened while there supposedly wasn’t anyone in the building.”
“What about the security cameras, did they catch anything?”
“We don’t know, the director was going to check them himself, some guys in suits came in a couple hours after all this happened and the security footage disappeared and the director just says not to worry about it. Maybe you‘ll have better luck getting information out of him.”
“You can count on it,” Christy said before stalking towards the director’s office.
“Miss. Orr, how was the symposium?” Arthur, the museum’s director asked as she walked into his office.
“Apparently not as exciting as things were here, what happened?” she asked looking expectantly at him.
“I don’t know exactly, no one was in the building when it happened, but we’re all set with repairs and everything should be back to normal in no time. Weren‘t you supposed to be taking today off after that long trip to the symposium?” he asked.
Christy crossed her arms and continued to stare at him, “Okay, and now the truth, because I am not leaving this office until you tell me who tore up my museum.”
Arthur opened and closed his mouth then sighed, “Alright, fine, I honestly don’t know exactly what was going on in here, but within a couple hours a bunch of government people showed up, confiscated the security cameras and said if we keep quite they’ll pay for all the museum repairs as well as paying off anyone who saw anything to keep quite. And it‘s not your museum until I retire.”
“And you agreed to it?” Christy asked in disbelief.
“The museum could hardly pay for repairs for this level of damage and going through the insurance would have been a nightmare since we don’t know exactly what caused the damage.”
“Fine, I’ll keep it quite too, but I want to know what you found on the security footage,” Christy told him.
“You wouldn’t believe me if I told you,” Arthur said.
“Tell me anyways.”
“I only got through a little of the footage before it was confiscated, but it looked like giant robots, possibly being assisted by two people, a man and probably a boy,” he told her.
“Do we know who the people were?” Christy asked.
“No clue, the names they gave to the tour guides were fake.”
“Who were the tour guides?”
“Stout and Richards,” he replied.
“Alright then, I’ll see you later,” Christy said as she turned to leave the office.
“What are you going to do?” Arthur asked.
“I promised not to tell anyone about what’s been going on here, I never said I wasn’t going to find out what’s going on for myself,” Christy said, leaving before he could stop her.
“Tell me about these two people you were giving a tour to, on the day the museum got torn apart,” Christy said as she walked up to the tour guide’s desk.
“He said he was an archaeologist who had discovered an idol and he was thinking about donating it to the museum and wanted a tour. We lost them at some point and then the fire alarms went off,” Mrs. Stout told her.
“What were their names? What did they look like?” Christy asked.
“The archaeologist said his name was Nevada Fleeber and his partner just said his name was McPlank and was short, looked more like a kid than a-”
“McPlank? Are you sure the kid said McPlank?” Christy asked.
“Yeah, why?” Mr. Richards asked.
“I think I know who he was. If Art asks where I am, just tell him I decided to go ahead and take the day off like I had originally planned,” she said before leaving the museum.
A while later Christy headed out of town, if she was right, she knew exactly who McPlank was, she had given him the name herself.
It had been several years earlier when she was giving tours of the museum to a class of first graders, one of them in particular was completely ignoring the tour, too busy playing with a hand held gaming devise. When the other kids were playing in one of the interactive areas she asked him if he was having fun.
“Oh yeah, lots of fun, I’m bored stiff as a plank of wood,” had been his reply.
“Well McPlank, how would you like to hear a story?” she had proceeded to tell him and the other students some of the more exciting and adventurous stories of the discoveries of some of the artifacts. By the time she had finished the boy and several other kids were talking about how they were going to be adventurers and archaeologist when they grew up. The next year McPlank the international adventurer as he was calling himself then, was back practically leading his Boy Scout group on an adventure around the museum. He had mentioned that his father ran a scrap yard outside of town and she had stopped to check it out a couple of times, it was more of an outdoor antique mall than a normal scrap yard. She had never stopped by after being at work though. At work she was always very professional, dress suit, her long light brown hair pulled into a bun, a light touch of makeup and, according to most of the people who worked under her, very intimidating. She pulled off the serious professional act so well that most people who didn’t know her well didn’t even recognize out of her work attire.
Christy pulled into the scrap yard and didn’t see anyone, but when she got out of her car she could hear several voices nearby and headed towards them. Before she could get very far Denny and Russell came running around one of the rows of stuff and seemed to deliberately place themselves so they were blocking where they had just come from.
“Hi, I’m Denny, welcome to the vintage scrap depot, can I help you find something?” Denny asked.
“I’m sure you can, I’m looking for some big robots,” Christy told him as she walked around, looking at some of the stuff on the shelves and working her way closer to where they had come from.
“Uh, well I’ve got some toy robots, they’re about two feet tall, pretty good sized,” Denny told her.
“I was thinking something a little bigger. Maybe I’ll just browse around a bit,” she said continuing to move towards where she had heard the voices.
“Okay, the really good stuff is over this way, if you’ll just follow me,” Denny said starting to walk in the opposite direction.
Christy just continued the way she was going, “I think I want to see what’s over here,” she said before walking a little quicker so she could get around the row of stuff before Denny could stop her.
“No don’t!” Denny and Russell both exclaimed.
“Why not?” Christy asked as she rounded the row then froze, “Is that why? Are the cars stolen? They look way too modern for this place.”
“Of course not, they were traded for some antiques. There just wouldn’t be anything like what you were looking for over here,” Denny explained.
Christy walked over to look at the cars for a moment, “What antiques did you have that could have been of similar value to these cars?” Christy asked suspiciously, “Did you steal something from the museum?”
“What?! No, of course not, why would you even think that?” Denny asked uncomfortably.
“Because that’s the only reason I can think of for the two of you to go into the museum and lie about being archaeologists. If you weren’t there to steal anything what were you doing, McPlank?” she asked turning her attention to Russell.
“How did you know that name?” Denny asked.
“Oh man, you’re the lady from the museum, aren’t you?” Russell asked.
“Yep, and I want to know what was going on,” Christy told him.
“Wait you know her?” Denny asked.
“Yeah, I’ll explain later, after we convince her not to have us arrested,” Russell replied before turning his attention back to Christy, “We were going to the museum and my dad thinks he’s some kind of great actor, so I made him a bet that he couldn’t pull off an act good enough to convince the people at the museum that he was an archaeologist, if I won I’d get this game system I’ve been wanting. That’s all it was, we didn’t steal anything, it was just a game,” Russell insisted.
“Okay and where were you when the fire alarm went off, did you see anything? Any robots?” Christy asked.
“No, we left with everyone else, we didn’t see anything,” Denny told her.
“Alight, just don’t ever try anything like that at my museum again,” Christy told them.
“Yes ma’am,” Denny and Russell replied.
“Good,” Christy said then headed back to her car, she didn’t really believe them, she was sure they were hiding something, she just wasn’t sure what, for now she’d just have to see what else she could find out.
The next several weeks were uneventful as Christy continued to try to find out what had happened at the museum. Most people claimed they hadn’t seen anything, a few admitted that they had seen something, but couldn’t say what. Christy had just about given up when a family walked into the museum and asked when the robot exhibit was going to open. When Christy had asked what robot exhibit they were talking about one of them pulled out a cell phone and showed her video of a yellow and black robot with Denny and Russell in front of the museum. Christy got them to send her a copy of the video and told them she hadn’t heard anything about it, but would look into it.
That Saturday she headed back to the scrap yard, equipped with the video there was no way she was leaving until she got some answers.
Yet another briefing had been interrupted by Strongarm and Sideswipe’s bickering, so Bumblebee had turned his attention to going over their supplies with Fix-It.
“What are those doing here?” Bumblebee asked pointing to a few of Quillfires quills that were sitting out on a table.
“I was just going to take some more samples to try to see if there’s any way to make an antidote in case we would need it,” Fix-It explained, “It would be good to have one on hand, especially if you get hit again, the way you acted-”
“I know, I was insane, between each of you telling me different things I did, I think I get the picture. It would probably be safer to keep those locked away when you’re not working with them, we don’t need anyone getting stuck by one of them,” Bumblebee told him.
“Oh you don’t have to worry-”
Fix-It was cut off as Sideswipe tore past in vehicle mode with Strongarm running after him, firing her gun at him.
“What do you think you’re doing shooting at him?” Bumblebee called after her.
“It’s only set to stun, sir,” Strongarm called back as she continued to chase him.
“I need vacation,” Bumblebee mumbled before turning his attention back to Fix-It, “Now where were we?” he asked, then heard a crash behind him, before he could even turn around he was knocked to the ground as a large shelf of stuff landed on him.
“I am so sorry sir,” Strongarm said as she started helping unbury Bumblebee, “Sideswipe was-”
“Don’t blame me for this, it never would have happened if you hadn’t been shooting at me,” Sideswipe cut in.
“I wouldn’t have been shooting at you if you weren’t such a glitch head,” Strongarm countered.
And that quickly Bumblebee was left to get himself out of the pile of stuff while Strongarm and Sideswipe resumed their fight, “I really need a vacation,” Bumblebee said to himself as he struggled out from under the pile of stuff. As he stood up he tripped and fell, landing on the table where the quills were and let out a pained cry.
“Are you alight?” Fix-It asked.
Bumblebee staggered to his feet and stood there looking dazed for a second.
“Oh no, not again,” Strongarm said noticing a quill sticking out from under the armor on Bee’s arm.
Bumblebee pulled the quill out before collapsing to the ground unconscious.
“Get something to tie him up with before he comes to,” Strongarm told Sideswipe.
“Who put you in charge again?” Sideswipe demanded.
“Do you want to spend the rest of the day dealing with him after he wakes up?” Strongarm asked.
“Okay, good point,” Sideswipe relented, leaving to find something.
“Better idea,” Strongarm said turning her attention to Fix-It, “Could we just throw him in a stasis pod until the stuff wears off?”
“That would likely stop the toxin from wearing off,” Fix-It told her.
“Uh, Strongarm, where’s Bee?” Sideswipe asked returning with a pile of chains.