Hello, Benjamin from Brother’s Campfire here!
Gather ‘Round and I will spin you a tale.
Science, particularly the study of insects, was his obsession.
He went to college for Entomology and made the necessary sacrifices, incurring significant debt.
His thesis, titled Social Hierarchy Imbalance in Termite Mounds was printed in the La Longi Times and lauded as a scientific breakthrough in pest control.
Countless hours of lab time, tireless work, and missed meals resulted in numerous patents for chemical control of numerous insects and other lurkers of field, forest, sewers, and your mother’s pantry.
Success was on the horizon.
Then the recession hit. One bad storm in La Longi Harbor turned the economy all upside down.
He had hired the best legal team in the city to write a business plan and the funding just wasn’t there.
It was time to diversify his portfolio and he was resigned to subcontract handrails for Ernest Kenyon.
The handrails were of substandard quality, nothing like Jaydon Bluntbasher’s. The dissimilar metals would soon corrode and Ernest insisted they be filled with saline saturated water. They were built to fail.
The thought of Jaydon frustrated him.
It didn’t make sense. JB was inferior in intelligence and drive, a glorified fabricator, but he was successful in life.
When they were kids, JB wore his dad’s shoes to school and ate school lunch.
His grades were bad and his hygiene was horrible. His fingernails were black and his hair greasy. He was a total outcast and his dad wouldn’t let him court the girls.
Somehow, after graduation, JB managed to befriend a girl from LLU (La Longi University) and they had been happily married for years.
JB was fat, ugly, no sense of style possesed a few certificates from a cheap community college.
There was no denying. She was exotic gorgeous and deserved a more classy man like himself.
Even that stupid watchman that stole his girlfriend years ago did well.
For a year he had courted Amaya. They had worked on art projects, collected specimens, and discussed a wedding in a foreign country.
She was dead now. It was reported she died in childbirth but it was likely domestic violence. City Watchmen had a reputation for anger issues and he was always getting in fights as a child.
He probably did her in and covered it up.
What was his fool name?
Berengar, he went by Berengar.
He was a farmer boy; a garlic-scented farm boy had stolen her away with a one-liner.
To add insult to injury, Berengar prevented him from obtaining a government contract that was already secured. Berengar had masked his attack by “putting it out for bid.”
Poor planners became City Watch.
They had no education, no prospects, and no hope for the future and Berengar couldn’t even get the City Watch right.
They retired Berengar’s sorry frame to shut him up and even gave him a check every month.
He hated Berengar and JB. It was partly their fault things weren’t going right for him.
Andras pushed the bitterness aside. There was work to be done.
Ernest Kenyon had paid him for the first phase of a simple assignment. He was to breed a few prairie goblins from Tolba to study theoretical hive minds. This was easy enough, and an excellent species for study.
The second phase was the most important, and he secretly completed a trial run.
Andras opened his notebook to see if anything was missing for his next meeting with the crime syndicate.
The prairie goblin stands about 10 inches high and has two sections, a thorax and a head, two legs, and two to four arms depending on species. The mandibles are long for their size and it has compound eyes.
Their diet consists of purslane, mallow, dandelion, and a variety of roots to include beets and turnips making farming difficult in some areas.
Inhabiting shallow underground tunnels, they create unsafe conditions for unwary livestock. In laboratory conditions, they can be conditioned to live in wooden casks stacked hexagonally, allowing for care and observation.
In the wild, they have numerous natural predators to include pequins, coyotes, raccoons, owls, and goblin hawks. When kept in a lab environment, population control is necessary as they can reproduce at an accelerated rate.
When a nest is disturbed, a prairie goblin will make a distinct alarm that sounds like one biting into an apple. This is thought to alert nearby prairie goblins to defend the nest.
In this persuit, they are relentless and organized, meticulously sorting the remains of the kill.
Closing his notebook, he relaxed. His financial problems would be over soon.
It was Ernest Kenyon who sprung the idea. Andras would introduce a few sterilized prairie goblins into the city, simulating an infestation, and he would follow up in door-to-door pesticide sales. As they were sterile, the desire to mate would be diminished and the prairie goblins would be passive, living alone.
It was a win win.
Andras would be rich, able to live the life of comfort he deserved, persuing his passion.