“I should have known you were behind all this,” growled the koala mercenary, a eucalyptus cigarette smouldering in his mouth and a tiny .22 revolver in each two-thumbed hand.

Dr. James Platypus cackled, his tail waving merrily. “THE.POISON.CLAWS.OF.MY.KIND.ARE.EVER.TRIUMPHANT.AGAINST.THE.REDUCED.BRAINS.OF.YOURS.” he crowed through the intermediary of a cell phone touch screen equipped with Gaggle Translator.

“Where’s the trigger?” screeched the koala with his inhuman voice, striking Dr. Platypus on his smug beak. “Where’s the trigger?”

Platypus laughed. “YOU.THINK.I.WOULD.TELL.YOU?” he typed into Gaggle Translator with a trembling paw. “LIKE.ALL.OF.YOUR.KIND.YOUR.BITING.AND.CLAWING.AND.SHRIEKING.IS.JUST.A.SMOKESCREEN.FOR.IGNORANCE.”

A hammer pulled back and a barrel pressed to the back of the koala mercenary’s head preempted his reply. “Kara Quoll,” he said bitterly. “How could you?”

said Ms. Quoll, with her hands, in Australian Outback Standard Sign Language.

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