“On the plus side, we’re going the right direction!” The feigned optimism of Inspector Wainwright fooled no one.
Wainwright was proving to be a curious figure to the officers in his charge. He appeared a heart beat after the first notice of an odd creature roaming the countryside was received. The station door swung open, filled with a silhouetted figure in a long coat and a derby hat, and a grumbled voice demanded to be directed to the station lead.
The station lead was now looking over the fallen trunk of a hundred year old tree, a sign they had become familiar with. “This tree is noticeably larger than the last,” Officer Redding, the station lead, noted.
“The creature grows,” Wainwright said, “just as it was meant to. Good.”
“Inspector,” Redding said, moving beside the Inspector, “this tree is at least twice the size of the last. If this creature you speak of continues to grow at this rate we will need more troops to bring it down.”
“Officer Redding, the science that brought this creature to life is, at best, experimental. My suspicion is that we find the creature when it has become too large to move,” the Inspector said.
Redding hoped the mysterious inspector was telling the truth. He whistled and the search party resumed its work.
Miles they marched, kicking dirt and mud in their wake. The Inspector smiled the entire trip, completely unnerving Officer Redding. Redding did not even see the Inspector blink.
The trail led the search party over the top of a mountain and into a valley. Fallen trees continued and the search party began to feel their target would forever evade their gaze.
Inspector Wainwright ran a finger over a needle of a tree and brought the party to a halt. The needle was dripping with something that should not have been there. Wainwright looked around the surrounding trees. More bizarre fluid. He recognized the signs of an experiment at its end.
“Well,” he said, turning to face the party, “it appears our search is over. Thank you for your help. You may all return to your station.”
Redding watched the Inspector walk in the direction opposite the station, opposite the town.
“This has been an odd day,” Redding said. “All right, all, back to the station.”