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Murder Moose

Updated: Mar 27, 2021

September 19, 1915

Somewhere near the Ste. Anne River, Northeast of Quebec City

Excerpt from the diary of Arthur Lirette (With translation from the original French)

We were eating our lunch of brie cheese on baguettes with Sauvignon Blanc when a second moose arose from the swamp. Weeds and debris dangled from its antlers. It flashed pointed teeth, like a vampire. Its nostrils quivered with rage. Also, smoke came out of its nostrils. Not steam, but smoke. I know. I saw it. The moose opened his mouth wide. He had not one, not two, but three sets of razor-sharp teeth! The moose roared like a castrated dinosaur. It lowered its head towards us and churned the water with its devil hooves. "Look how playful," said Dr. Lambert. "What a silly moose. I wish I had a moving picture camera!" The moose then charged us at full speed.

J'ai dit aux messieurs: “Mon Dieu! Fais attention! Monsieur, un élan nous attaque! Il ne nous donne pas de quartier.” Roosevelt cracha sa baguette et attrapa son fusil Springfield. Il l'a soulevé et a tiré. Il avait encore des miettes de baguette partout sur sa moustache. Il n'y avait pas de temps pour l'hygiène. Le coup de semonce de Roosevelt n'a eu aucun effet. Je crois que cet élan avait le diable en lui. Ses yeux brillaient de rouge. Des étincelles jaillirent de sa tête, comme un feu sauvage. Pourtant, d'une manière ou d'une autre, Ce feu était dirigé, par les mauvaises intentions de l' élan. Monsieur Roosevelt a tiré cinq autres coups de feu sur l'élan. Deux sont devenus fous. Un coup a frôlé les bois - qui avaient la forme de cornes de diable.

I said to the gentlemen: “My God! Watch out! Sir, a moose attacks! He gives us no quarter.” Roosevelt spit out his baguette and grabbed his Springfield. He raised it and fired. He still had baguette crumbs all over his mustache. There was no time for hygiene. Roosevelt’s warning shot had no effect.

I believe this moose had the devil inside him. His eyes glowed red. Sparks leapt from his head like a wild fire. Yet somehow, this fire was directed by the moose’s evil intentions.

Mr. Roosevelt fired four more shots at the moose. One went wild. One shot grazed the antlers--which were shaped like devil horns.

The other two shots hit the moose in the head. They were fatal. As the moose fell to one side, it fired two lightning bolts out of its left eye. I know how incredible this sounds. One of Mr. Roosevelt’s shots had taken off half the moose’s head. Even after the moose lay on its side in the water, it did not behave like a dead moose. It floated. It quivered wildly, making a humming sound like a thousand angry bees. Its jaws snapped open and closed. Wires, springs and small metal parts stuck out of its head where flesh and brain should have been. Even in death, it was a dangerous creature, whatever it was. Mr. Roosevelt unsheathed his Tiffany knife to deliver the death blow, but I saw this was too hazardous, so I motioned to him to stay back. As their guide, it was my duty to ensure the safety of my charges. I drew my Colt M1911 .45 pistol, charged the weapon and cautiously approached the devil bull through waist-deep swamp water.

As my people often say, the best cheese to eat is French, but the best steel for killing is American.

“My God,” I heard Doctor Lambert say. “What is that thing?” I paused and looked over my shoulder. “The devil has many names, Mr. Lambert,” I said. “Enough, fiddle faddle,” said Mr. Roosevelt. “Be quick and shoot. I want to examine this thing and claim this unusual prize. I am curious to know what it tastes like.” By then, I was within point blank range. I set the muzzle of my pistol against its head. The last thing I heard was Mr. Roosevelt say, “Do you think it tastes anything like a Saysquack?” I looked down. The last thing I saw was three sets of devil teeth unhinge and snap at me. Then all went black. When I next awoke, I was back at the cabin in a bed with Dr. Lambert standing over me.

September 19, 1915

Somewhere near the Ste. Anne River, Northeast of Quebec City

The adventure journal of Theodore Roosevelt

I was out with Dr. Lambert and our French-Canadian guide, game warden Arthur Lirette in the beautiful Ste. Anne area. We had been paddling and shooting all morning. We scored a magnificent kill, a bull with a set of antlers spanning 52 inches. I gutted him and took off his head with the Tiffany knife. He reminded me somewhat of an insolent moose that appeared in my tent a long time ago, foretelling of future events. Although that moose sassed me disrespectfully, the events he foretold did come to pass and in hindsight I appreciate his honesty. I was amusing our guide by holding the rack of my fresh kill over my head and pretending to talk like the fortune-telling moose that was in my tent during my Pan-Olympic Expedition. Of course, I did not tell the assembled party that I had actually met a talking moose, or that it had predicted the attempt on my life. I simply lowered my voice, looked at my companions mirthfully and repeated the poem the moose had told me in my best mock moose voice: “In Life’s forge the die is cast. The Ruler’s fate he cannot flee. Death stalks the hunter between two peaks, progressives walk with me.” Our guide Arthur and Dr. Lambert found this rather amusing.

We then paused for a luncheon of brie and baguettes. Over lunch, I told the fellows the story of how I shot my first Saysquack in the Roosevelt Rainforest after he found me in a compromising position. I mentioned how I lopped off his arm with the calvary saber. Of all these details, Arthur was most impressed that I was able to befriend the Saysquack after the amputation and that he partook of eating his own arm. I explained that a hungry Saysquack will eat just about anything, as will we all, to which Dr. Lambert replied that there were some things he would not eat. Arthur affirmed this as well. I took another bite of my baguette and shrugged my shoulders, for I could not relate. I confess that I am sympathetic with the Saysquack on this matter.

At that point, Arthur started making a ruckus. He deserves the credit for being the first to notice that a killer moose had stalked up to us. I confess that it presented so strange a sight that we were all momentarily stunned by it. Smoke emanated from its nostrils, which quivered in an unholy manner. Its eyes glowed red. Its teeth were pointed, not the teeth of an aquatic cud chewer like our normal Boreal ungulate friends, but like a flesh-rending carnivore. Furthermore, it had several sets of teeth that extended and retracted out of its mouth. Great Scott! Strike me down if I am exaggerating one detail.

Its eyes undulated and hummed, then fired what could only be described as a lightning-bolt, which obliterated half of the baguette that was protruding from my mouth, leaving nothing but a charred, smoking bread stump.

I picked up the closest object, which was a hunk of brie cheese, and hurled it at the fiendish creature as hard as I could. The cheese hit it in the head with a splat, doing no damage of course, but temporarily blinding it. Arthur yelled, “Tirez, Tirez, Monsieur!” (“Shoot, shoot, sir!”). Thankfully, my Springfield was within reach and fully loaded. Had it not been, we would all be dead, as this entire incident transpired in only seconds. I raised the Springfield and fired a warning shot, which did not give the creature pause. It reared up and charged.

I fired four more times. The first missed the mark completely. The second grazed the right antler. The last two shots were true. They stopped the beast about five yards from where we stood. Instead of blood and brains, I was befuddled and disappointed to see metal scrap and wires protruding from the cavity that my incapacitating shots had produced in its skull. What’s more, the thing—whatever it was—wasn’t dead. It did not behave like any living animal, but like a disarticulated machine that lacks awareness of its demise.

I was about to take the Tiffany knife over to finish it off, but Monsieur Lirette insisted on doing it, in case there was any residual danger. I admired his caution but assured him there was no need for it. I made ready to follow him to the carcass after he dispatched it with a mortal blow. As soon as Arthur approached, the thing’s jaws extended out of its mouth and severed his gun arm as he shot it. To my amazement, Arthur’s severed hand continued squeezing off shots into the devilish beast even as his severed arm fell to the water.

Lambert and I rushed to his aid. Dr. Lambert removed my trouser belt and stopped Arthur’s bleeding by using it as a tourniquet. I held up my trousers with one hand (the belt was sorely needed, since I’d lost a great deal of weight after my South American expedition) and jumped up on what was left of the mechanical moose with the Tiffany knife in the other hand. I brought it down with all my might on its neck, continuing to slash and hack away until it was completely avulsed from the body. During this process, the mechanical moose kicked senselessly like an overturned insect, making a buzzing sound like a clock running down. As I slashed and hacked, there was no blood at all, but a thin, milky substance shot in all directions—including all over me. I’ve never seen anything like it.

After Dr. Lambert and I bandaged and stabilized Arthur at the cabin, we canoed back out to retrieve the carcasses from our day’s misadventures. The sun was low in the horizon, throwing strange shadows across the algae-covered ponds. All was still, but for the sound of bullfrogs, the dip of our paddles and the sight of sundews and pitcher plants closing around their prey. We made it a point to stow the remains of our meat, the machine moose and trophies and paddle back to the cabin before sundown.

When we returned to the cabin, poor Monsieur Lirette was sweating profusely, delirious and babbling. There was no question that he’d earned an extra tip, guiding us today. Dr. Lambert estimated that he’d lost a quart or two of blood and said that his body might not survive the tremendous insult it had received. I leaned closely to Monsieur Lirette’s ear and shouted so he could hear me in his febrile state. “Monsieur Lirette, Aujourd'hui, vous étiez submergé dans un bain fondu de résolution d'acier! Ne t'inquiète pas. Vous êtes plus un homme sans bras qu'avec lui. ” (Mr. Lirette, today you were submerged in a molten bath of steely resolve! Do not worry. You are more a man without the arm than with it.”)

Dr. Lambert and I filled ourselves with fresh moose steaks, then we got down to business examining the remains of the enigmatic automaton. The only inventor I know who has the genius for such a contraption is that dingbat Dr. Browntrout, but while he has the intellectual capacity to build such a machine, he lacks the malevolence required to do such a deed. The facts of the matter are most perplexing. Lambert and I spread out the parts under magnifying lenses and saw wires, tiny metal parts, but no cogs, springs, engines or obvious sources of propulsion. After careful dissection with Dr. Lambert’s surgical tools, we saw that the hide and skin were not real but made of some synthetic material, and instead of veins or blood vessels, the creature possessed clear tubes through which a thin, milky substance flowed. Behind its eyes we found glass lenses, apertures or ports that, as a hunter I can tell are obviously designed to fire projectiles. Its brain consisted of numerous tiny metal nodes welded onto stiff frames.

Dr. Lambert noted that the “bones,” the fearsome teeth and monstrous jaws that lately had done so much damage to our French-Canadian guide were made of a virtually impregnable metal alloy that resisted our most vigorous efforts at destruction. We beat on the thing for well over an hour with sledgehammers. When that did not yield the desired effect, we fixed the metal moose skeleton to a tree with a length of heavy cable and winched it on a logging truck; it broke the truck. After all this abuse, we learned one disturbing fact. Upon close inspection, one of the metal thigh bones had the words MADE IN THE USA etched on them. Who in America could create such terrible and awesome technology? And why would they deploy this Murder Moose against an old ex-president on a hunting trip? I may never learn the truth, but I aim to find out, even if it takes me the rest of my days.

September 30th, 2097

Headquarters of PATH-FUG (People Altering Time and History For Understanding & Good) Portland, Oregon, Operation Loose Moose, Activist Action Final Report

Operation Loose Moose Close Out. Autonomous drone terminated by target.

This operation is closed unsuccessfully. The purpose of the operation was to prevent Theodore Roosevelt from hunting and to dissuade the conservation movement from hunting. This operation failed for several reasons.

1. Due to faulty programming, Autonomous Terminal Moose was unable to distinguish targets from non-targets, thus causing civilian injuries.

2. Portal miscalibration resulted in inaccurate Autonomous Terminal Moose drop into slipstream. This caused the drone to arrive in 1915 rather than 1879.

3. The target and his allies were able to detect the presence of advanced weapons technology. They were not able to reverse engineer the drone, but it could have caused unauthorized premature advances in technology by over one hundred years or more without intervention from post-operation agents.

4. The incident caused the target and his allies to become enraged and cynical towards moose, which could have a trickle-down effect that results in damage to other wildlife unless other Autonomous Terminal Moose is sent.

Post-Operation Intervention: Retrieve and Destroy Assets/Render Aid and Assistance

Two post-operation intervention teams were sent to retrieve the asset, eliminate any traces of advanced technology and to render aid to citizen bystanders. Both teams entered the slipstream at 1456 universal standard time and arrived just after 12:00 A.M., September 20, 1915. They found the target and his associates asleep, but took precautions as dictated by protocol. Team 1 entered a human dwelling through a back window and administered anesthetic, rendering the target’s associates unconscious for the duration of the post-operation intervention procedure. The target was unresponsive to anesthetics, so he was administered a strong dissociative—hallucinogenic compound to distort his memory of our presence. After subduing and controlling Mr. Roosevelt in the manner described above, Team 1 removed and destroyed all traces of the Autonomous Moose Drone and other assets.

Team 2 completed a tissue incubation and graft on Mr. Lirette, the injured civilian, using a disposable limb incubation chamber and #4 laser grafter. Within two hours, an identical copy of his arm was reattached with full vascularization. Within three hours, Mr. Lirette’s fine motor hand function and full tactile sensation was restored. Mr. Lirette’s original arm was destroyed, lest the presence of a third arm be difficult to explain.

September 20, 1915

Somewhere near the Ste. Anne River, Northeast of Quebec City

The adventure journal of Theodore Roosevelt

I awoke this morning with a headache after having a most unusual dream. I cannot begin to describe it. More perplexing than my dreams are the reality we awoke to. Arthur was as amazed as Dr. Lambert and I to see that his severed arm was reattached to his body and fully functional. All trace of his fever was gone. Also gone was the mechanical moose that attacked us. All the parts of it we carefully laid out on the dining room table for dissection were gone—vanished into thin air. I’d be tempted to think I was going mad but for the one metal plate from its hindquarters I kept along with four screws that said MADE IN THE USA. I smell a rat somewhere close by. Some saboteur or assassin was covering their tracks, but who and why is the question? The Germans? Perhaps they want me dead because of my efforts to get us into the war. It would be the dirtiest of dirty tricks to write “made in the USA” on a piece of technology designed by a foreign foe, and also the perfect smoke screen—for someone not smart enough to see through it.

How they snuck in to the cabin to steal back their Murder Moose is beyond me. Dr. Lambert and I were awake until the wee hours tending Arthur. I shall have to booby trap everywhere I sleep from now on—even Sagamore is no longer safe. I will cable Edith immediately to have Jonas set up Big Mary Boom Boom in the gun ports I recently installed in the wall of my study. I also want trip wires and land mines in a perimeter all around the main house. With the children all grown up and an accurate map of the obstacles, I see no danger at all—except for the enemy.


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