“We have a problem, sir.”
“What? What do you mean by that?” Duke asked.
“We don’t understand what has been happening, sir. The people are not responding as they should sir; like the gas is not effective anymore. Rather, it is our men who now exhibit the symptoms.”
“Has there been an unusual incident at the warehouse and the facility?”
“Not at all, sir. Although the guard assigned to the warehouse reported that ghosts do come to disturb and haunt the warehouse at night, and we have been having a series of blackouts at the facility. But I don’t think that has anything to do with this.”
Duke sighed; he was too angry to raise his voice.
“You fool! Of course, it has everything to do with it.
Duke was smart enough to realize what was happening and he knew that the disruption could only be nipped in the bud if he stepped in himself. He was going to catch whoever was behind this himself and he had a plan for that.
“When is the next distribution date?”
“Tonight sir.”
“Which means whoever has been messing with me will strike again tonight. Perfect! Make the preparations, I will be visiting the warehouse tonight.”
“Yes sir”
Farren, Kuri, Wani, and Peng were preparing to go to the warehouse when Farren said something came up with a suggestion.
“Guys, it’s a good thing we’ve been able to protect the town for a while now, but we can’t continue this forever. Sooner or later, this Duke guy is going to realize what we’ve been up to, and then he might change his plans, or even come after us and try to get rid of us.”
The others remained quiet; none of them had thought of that. Peng immediately became terrified, but Farren continued.
“What we need to do is get hard proof of what is going on and hand it to the authorities for them to handle it.”
Wani was in agreement.
“That’s right! We could record Duke’s men spraying the food with poisonous gas and send the video to the authorities.”
Kuri and Farren nodded in agreement; Peng, however, was still terrified.
“Guys, I don’t think we should go tonight. What if there’s a trap waiting for us?”
Farren understood Peng’s fears.
“It’s alright, Peng. You can stay back while we go to the warehouse and make sure we get the evidence we need.”
Peng was relieved to hear that, but she didn’t want to stay back while everyone else went on the mission.
“How about I stay in the truck and be on the lookout?
Farren smiled.
“That works too.”
The squad got to the warehouse and hid in their usual spot, with Peng waiting in the truck; the girls were waiting for Duke’s guys to show up as usual. To their surprise, this time, they were accompanied by someone who had a whole different demeanor and composure. Kuri whispered to the others.
“If I’m to guess, I’d say that’s Duke! I’d better start recording.”
Kuri brought out her smartphone to start recording. Almost at the same time, Duke barked out orders to his minions
“Bring the foodstuffs out and make sure you spray them thoroughly before taking them into the warehouse. Do we have enough white gas?”

“Yes sir, but we are running out of foodstuffs.”
“And you didn’t deem it necessary to tell me that before now?”
“Sorry sir.”
“Just find another farm to raid and cart away all their produce before burning it down. Do I have to teach you everything?”
The girls shared a glance; they were shocked to hear that Duke was responsible for the terrible situation of things in Monga. They waited for Duke and his men to enter their vehicle and leave the warehouse; immediately after they left and Kuri stopped recording, she sent the video to Peng who was in the truck. As usual, Farren scared the guard and he ran away before Kuri and Wani came out of hiding and headed into the warehouse. To their utmost surprise, they were greeted by Duke, who was comfortably seated in the warehouse, with a big box beside him.
“Well, what do we have here… a bunch of teenagers, how disappointing.”
Wani confronted him; she was scared but tried to sound as confident as she did so.
“Your gig is up; it is the end of the road for you.”
“I’m sorry, I still can’t get over the fact that a couple of tiny teenagers… doesn’t matter. Nothing is going to stand in my way, and I can’t spare you, unfortunately.”
Kuri managed to find her voice.
“You mean your plan to kill everyone? You will never succeed.”
Duke laughed
“How cute, you don’t even know what you’re fighting against, how can you stop me then? I am not trying to kill anyone, that doesn’t benefit me in any way. What I want is to tweak your minds a bit and make you susceptible to doing my bidding.”
“It doesn’t matter, it ends now!”
“And who’s going to stop me?”
“We will.”
Duke laughed again.
“A bunch of tiny alligators wants to stop me. In case you haven’t noticed, I am a tiger.” Duke raised his left arm to show his massive tiger claws.
“You stand no chance against me.”
Just then, Farren appeared, but before she could do anything, Duke pushed a button on the box beside him and it sucked Farren in like a vacuum cleaner.
“I heard reports of a ghost showing up to harass my guard and I had a feeling it might show up tonight, so I had this specially made. So, now that I’ve taken care of the ghost, I should end you now and call it a day. Don’t worry, I’ll make it quick and painless. Who wants to go first?”
Duke moved closer to the girl and they tried to run away but he caught up to them. Just as he was about to strike Wani, a dozen armed policemen stormed into the warehouse and restrained Duke. As they took him away, Peng ran in and hugged Wani tightly. She explained to her that after they entered the warehouse and everything was quiet, and she didn’t see them come out with the foodstuff as was the usual practice, she knew something was up and immediately contacted the authorities. Wani ran over to the box Duke had trapped Farren in and managed to free her.
Normalcy returned to the town and soon, there was surplus food in the town. Farren went back to practicing her tap dancing even though she had to learn not to scare people. Wani could now enjoy the sun with a filled stomach and eat tasty things. Kuri went back to having enough foodstuffs to experiment new cooking methods with and filling the house with flowers. Little Peng now had the energy to swim very fast and make snowballs again. Above all, she had the strength to tease and frustrate Wani to the point where she would think of just snacking on her, but she’s quite dear to Wani. The girls were rewarded by the authorities for solving the problem that was giving the entire Monga such a difficult time. Duke was convicted and imprisoned.
“Feels good to have things back the way they used to be; don’t you think” Wani asked.
“I couldn’t agree more.” Peng responded.