Snake in the grass

by Trurotaketwo

Chapter 1

"You let Steel get sick again!"

"What are you talking about?"

"I've told you before to take care of your horse!"

Tony's face was halfway between confused and annoyed.

"I do take care of Steel! Sometimes they just get sick! I can't help that!"

"Yes you can! It looks more like Steel is being neglected!"

Tony's face faded to anger.

"Neglected?! Are you out of your mind?!"

Gwen's fist shot out from her side and slammed into Tony's face. He stumbled back and balanced himself.

"That was nothing compared to what Steel went through! This is the last time I help you out!"

Tony brought a hand over his bruised eye. Gwen turned on her heel and stomped off.

The nerve of that Tony! He used to come and help on Bob's ranch, brushing the horses. Gwen used to think, Okay, he doesn't seem like such a bad guy, but when he gets a horse of his own, he lets it get sick! That friend to all living creatures thing was just an act! He was really a self serving creep who just wanted a horse so that he could make money in the horse races! He was a proverbial snake in the grass!

Still fuming about Tony's behaviour, Gwen went to Starling Ranch. She figured that tending to the horses and being in the company of people like Bob, who truly understood animals, would improve her mood.

But when she arrived at the stable, Bob was looking anxiously at the pasture. Louis was down on his knees, examining a blade of grass in a test tube.

"What's going on?" Gwen asked.

"Something's wrong with the horses." said Bob.

It couldn't be. Gwen had known Bob for years. He couldn't be neglecting his animals too!

"They're vomiting and they have problems balancing."

Then Louis stood up and turned to Bob.

"It's as I thought. This blade of grass shows traces of some kind of toxin. Bob, do you use any kind of fertilizer on the grass?"

"No. The grass I let my livestock eat is completely natural."

Gwen was starting to see what was being implied.

"Are you saying that someone deliberately poisoned the grass?"

"I'm afraid it's starting to look that way."

"Who would do something like that?!"

"I have a pretty good idea." said Bob "Those Funland suits!"

In frustration, he slammed the fence, breaking a beam of wood off. Louis yelped and jumped back in fright.

"Now they're trying to chase us out by poisoning the livestock!"

Gwen was ready to explode.

"Then let's go over to their office and beat them up!"

Bob took a deep breath.

"We can't. They'll just get the lawyers in and throw us in jail."

"They poisoned your horses and cows! Call the police on them! Or the RSPCA! Someone!"

"If the police could help, I would! But I don't have any proof that it was them. And with the fancy, big city lawyers they can afford, it would just be a waste. Louis, would you be able to make an antidote?"

"I'll see what I can do. I just need to take some blades of the infected grass to analyze them."

Gwen's anger was boiling over again. The only thing stopping her from smacking Bob was the fact that he was too tall to hit in the face.

"You coward! Someone tried to poison your animals and you're just going to let them get away with it!"

She turned on her heel and ran away, leaving an angry Bob glaring daggers at her.

Cruelty to animals is something that Gwen has no tolerance for. She went straight over to Funland's office. If Bob wanted proof, Gwen was going to find it and make sure that those prissy city folk got the death penalty!

Of course if she did find some dirt on Funland, the worst punishment they would get is a prison sentence, but Gwen didn't exactly think this through. When she's in one of her moods, she has all the patience of a bull in a china shop.

She went into the unlocked door and looked around. On her left there was a door with a sign;

No Admittance.

With large corporations, No Admittance signs usually meant that there was dangerous machinery behind the door, or some kind of health hazard that people should steer clear of, unless they were wearing some kind of protective clothing or they were trained to handle such harmful material.

But with bad guys, No Admittance signs meant "Here's where we're hiding our secret stuff that we don't want people to know about."

Gwen put her ear to the door. There were no sounds from inside the room. She clutched the handle and entered. The room was like a garage. The smell of oil hung in the air. She looked up at some kind of large machine. It was green, pointy and very big. She walked around to the front of the machine and realised what it was; a large mechanical snake. She discovered a desk against the wall. On the desk, Gwen saw the blue prints to the machine. They listed everything; the cockpit, the entrance, but what really caught her attention was the cylinders at the sides labelled "Poison comes out here."

If this wasn't proof, then she didn't know what would be. Now all she had to do was bring the blueprints to Bob and Louis, call the police and everything would be a-ok. But there were a number of people who would disagree that it was that simple; the guy who suddenly jumped her from behind and held a cloth covered in chlorophorm to her nose, for one.