CaptainCanuck, a fellow Canadian, wanted Jean Chrétien involved in an evil plot by the Americans to take over Canada. He also specified a wild goose chase for Fraser, Ray K, and Diefenbaker.
The mysterious young man sat in Inspector Thatcher's own chair behind her own desk. She wasn't pleased with this, but her instructions from Ottawa were to co-operate with the mysterious young man, identified to her only as "Howie". At his instructions, she had gathered together the people on his list of life-forms he wanted to have at a secret meeting. He didn't specifically ask to have her chair, but it seemed to her that he'd probably want it - and she did want to follow instructions from Ottawa to the letter.
The mysterious young man consulted his file and made a role-call of the assembled group.
"Inspector Thatcher, you're here of course."
She nodded. There was no denying it, really.
He proceeded in order of rank. "Lt. Welsh" He pronounced it the Canadian way.
"Yes, I'm here." Welsh was now accustomed to answering to that pronunciation. It no longer bothered him.
"Detective Kowalski now known as Detective Vecchio."
"Present," piped up the Mountie, briskly. The young man's rank, if he had one, had not been specified, so it was clear that the end of that phrase was missing. Fraser obviously wanted to say "Present, sir" or something like that. But, like Spock back in the thirties, in the presence of Edith Keeler, he had to leave it unsaid.
"Fine, then you're all here, so we can begin." continued the mysterious young man of unspecified rank and agency. "You have all been called to this secret meeting because my agency - which I am not at liberty to identify - has become aware of a threat to Canada. The conspiracy reaches so far up into the government that no internal agency can combat it. We have researched the possibilities and discovered that here in Chicago the local municipal police force is working far more closely with one of own officers than anywhere else in the United States."
Ray and Fraser exchanged a look. Their friendship was getting broadcast quite far afield, it seemed. Almost as if it were on television. The thought was horrifying. One thing, it was lucky it was always totally platonic.
"So, we are calling up people outside the Canadian border as resources. That is why all of you are here. I am recruiting all of you to combat this heinous threat."
Fraser looked around the room to see how many of his colleagues knew what heinous meant. Dief met his eye and nodded slightly. The young man's Toronto accent was something he could lip-read so that was ok. Inspector Thatcher, as a fellow Canadian, also was up to speed. The Americans looked puzzled.
"Not nice." Fraser supplied in translation. TMYM (The mysterious young man) acknowledged the help with a little smile. He realised he'd have to dummy down somewhat from now on.
"We have reason to believe that the Prime Minister of Canada is an imposter. We have reason to believe that the real Prime Minister was kidnapped a number of years ago and a look-alike set up in his place. We further have reason to believe the purpose of this is to effect a take-over of Canada by the Americans."
The three Canadian life forms shuddered. American take-over? Nobody had worried about that since the seventies! TMYM wasn't even born in the seventies. How could he even understand such a notion? In any case, that threat was rearing its ugly head again, it seemed.
"What evidence do you have that Jean Chretien, the current Prime Minister of Canada, is an imposter?" questioned the Inspector, suddenly feeling the need to be expository.
"There have been a number of things: First is his inability to speak either of Canada's two official languages. He cannot produce a coherent sentence in either English or French. This is most unlike a Canadian politician. Another thing, he is unusually aggressive; he has been known to strike journalists in public. Moreover - the things he says when visiting overseas are getting more and more bizarre. It is clear the strain of maintaining his cover is telling on him. He's weakening. We will have an opportunity to bring him down and save our country!"
Ray and Welsh were impressed. This was the most patriotism they had ever seen displayed by a Canadian. It was refreshing.
"Then, can I count on all your co-operation?" He questioned.
Fraser looked to his commanding officer to speak for them both.
"We're under instructions to co-operate with you," she replied, reluctantly.
Diefenbaker made an affirmative whine. He didn't report to any female. The decision was his own.
Welsh was doubtful. "I'm not sure I'm authorized to go along with this. I'll need confirmation from my own commanding officer."
Ray leaned over and whispered something in Welsh's ear.
"Very well then, for purposes of moving the plot along, I'll say yes for myself and Detective Vecchio."
Fraser had a question. "Do you have a plan in mind? You specifically asked for Diefenbaker to be here, so presumably there are elements requiring the skills of a canine." Fraser was hopeful of an interesting plan. Lucky for him he wasn't married to a rich, dominating, shrew who would interfere with his enjoyment of the upcoming adventure.
"I have a plan indeed," announced TMYM. "I'll tell it to you first thing tomorrow morning, since the chapter arbitrarily ends here."
The group of Fraser, Thatcher, Diefenbaker, Ray, Welsh and TMYM re-met the next morning in Thatcher's office. How Welsh managed to justify his and Ray's neglect of their own duty is not important right now. What is important is that all the Chicagoans were filled with anticipation. Ray coughed up a little bit of excess anticipation into a teacup, and lay it aside.
"There's very little that we know for sure," began TMYM, "But we do know the impostor is in contact with foreign colleagues and that he occasionally has face to face meetings with them. We suspect these meetings take place outside the borders of Canada. An American location seems likely. However we don't know where or with whom these meetings are taking place. This is what YOU are here for," TMYM turned to Diefenbaker as he said this. Then TMYM opened a briefcase and took out a tie. "We have managed to get our hands on this article of the supposed Prime Minister's clothing. With it, the dog will be able to track the movements of the suspect."
"Wolf" cried out Fraser, in alarm that his friend would be offended by the term 'dog'.
"I beg your pardon? Did you just cry wolf?" asked TMYM.
"Well, yes. You see Diefenbaker is half wolf and he likes to follow that part of his heritage."
TMYM consulted another file. "We've done considerable research on all of you. Diefenbaker's geneology is in fact sixty-five percent husky dog and only thirty percent wolf."
"That makes nine-five percent" interposed the Inspector. "What is the other five?"
TMYM closed his file and put it aside. "I don't think you want to know."
Fraser turned to his canine companion and in a soft voice audible only to himself, since Dief was deaf, asked "Is there something you haven't told me?"
"Constable!" TMYM drew the Mountie's attention back to the task at hand.
"Now, getting back to the task at hand, the plan is that we will start on the southwest coast of the United States and fly Diefenbaker and some companions of his own choosing sequentially to the major cities in the United States, and he will sniff around all the airports, train stations and bus stations in each city for traces of this scent." At this point he held up the tie, to make it all clear.
"That'll take time, Mr. Scott" observed Ray, affecting a Russian accent for some unknown reason.
"Let it take time, laddie" answered TMYM who changed his own accent to a Scottish one for the occasion.
"Enough of this trekkie stuff!" declared Thatcher. "Assuming Diefenbaker chooses Constable Fraser as a companion, are you trying to tell us that I could have my deputy travelling from city to city for an unspecified period of time and neglecting his duty entirely?"
"That's the plan. But if Diefenbaker agrees, you might be able to come along." suggested TMYM, suggestively.
Thatcher drew a breath and subsided. The drawing was later framed and displayed in her office and everyone always said afterwards how well she had captured the image of something so normally non-visual as a breath.
"So, if Diefenbaker would now choose his companions, the rest of you, those he does not want along for the ride, may go about your business."
Diefenbaker inclined his head towards Fraser. That was understood. Then he got up from his sitting position and walked over to Ray. He put one paw on Ray's leg and looked right into his face.
"Don't even go there," Ray warned Dief. "I don't do any pairing that's not on Exwood. Dief/Kowalski is out - out - out.
"Ewwwww," groaned all the others.
"I think Diefenbaker only means he'd like you to accompany us on the assignment," Fraser supplied, "Isn't that right, Dief?" If Dief had anything else than that in mind he wasn't saying it in mixed company.
"Do you want anyone else, Diefenbaker?" asked TMYM.
Dief shook his head. It was clear enough. Just the usual gang would be going on this little expedition.
"Fine, then you two are free to go. But there is the problem that you cannot be allowed to tell anyone what has been happening here." said TMYM, and so saying he took out two small devices, the size and shape of fountain pens, holding one in each hand. One he held in front of Thatcher's eyes and the other Welsh's. Both their sets of eyes went wide and blank looks spread across their faces.
After a time TMYM said, "OK, if you each promise never to say anything to anyone about these conversations, you each get a nice fountain pen."
"Sounds good to me," they said in unison, snatched their respective prizes and left the room.
"Constable, Detective, Diefenbaker," said TMYM, "Let's get down to business now. I'll meet you three here tomorrow morning at 7:00 am. We'll take a Canadian Forces helicopter to San Diego, at the far southwestern end of the United States and start working our way up and across the country."
"I don't think so," said Fraser, "I will not be stepping into a Canadian Forces helicopter any time soon, nor will either of my companions."
"Fine, fine. Can't say as I blame you. Air Canada then?"
"Only if Diefenbaker rides in business class."
"Dogs have all the fun," muttered Ray, under his breath. Why a Canadian airline would have a run between Chicago and San Diego was not explained. Ray supposed TMYM had a lot of influence to pull that off.
The next morning TMYM, Fraser, Ray and Dief all flew to San Diego in less time than it takes to tell about it. Which means of course they are there now since it has already just been told about. A big, black limousine was waiting for them. TMYM patted it affectionately on the head and sent it home. "My pet limo," he explained. "He always waits for me." Then he flagged down a taxicab and they drove to a deserted warehouse in a seedy neighbourhood of San Diego.
As they drove, Fraser ventured to ask TMYM just why they were starting at the southwest corner, in San Diego, and not at some other corner, perhaps one closer to Canada? As they all stepped into the gigantic warehouse, they saw a sight that explained everything.
They listened carefully to the sight, but it spoke a language they understood not at all. Most likely Visual Basic, decided Fraser, but alas he was not well versed in it. Not even well prosed in it. So after the sight gave up and left dejectedly, TMYM pulled a curtain and motioned them all to come see what was beyond it.
They stepped past the curtain and saw a large propeller-driven airplane. It was as big as a small jet, wide enough to hold a lot of either passengers or cargo.
"This is why we are in San Diego," announced TMYM. "This will be our means of transport throughout the whole operation, so it makes sense to start right here. This plane has been part of a museum exhibit since the forties, but we have commandeered it for this purpose. It's perfect."
The cops approached it gingerly. Dief approached it cinnamonly.
"This aircraft appears to be made of wood," observed Fraser.
"Indeed it is! This plane is none other than the "Spruce Goose" commissioned for the Second World War but only flown once on a test flight. Nevertheless it is an amazing aircraft and is perfectly suited to our needs."
"And what needs would those be?" Ray wanted to know, as well as wanting a line to speak.
"That's classified, I'm afraid," said TMYM.
Slowly they walked all around the plane, taking in the various details of it. The most amazing thing, other than its being made entirely of wood, was the psychedelic decoration painted all over its surface.
"That's very seventies," observed Ray, glad to have another line.
"So is the threat of American take-over," sighed TMYM, "So, it seemed to fit."
"These designs, they are really quite wild," Fraser said.
"Well gentlemen, we've talked enough," said TMYM, rather paradoxically because in so saying he was in fact talking, after having declared they had talked enough. Fortunately Ray, Fraser and Dief were too distracted by the wild decorations on the plane to take notice of this. "Let's get aboard this wildly painted plane called the "Spruce Goose" and begin our wild goose chase."
As it turned out, they didn't have to chase very far. Fraser noticed that the pilot of the plane had dandruff on his clothes but none in his hair. This told him that the pilot had not changed his suit in many weeks and in the interim had bought dandruff shampoo, used it to advantage, but had not changed his suit in all that time. Fraser refused outright to board a plane that was so untidily piloted. The supposed pilot took offense, muttered something unintelligible and then took a swing at the Mountie. Fraser ducked first, then pinned the man against the bulkhead of the plane. He certainly looked like Jean Chretien.
TMYM came up and looked at them in amazement. "Constable, you have caught the imposter. Well done. You certainly have done something wonderful for your country. Now my research shows that whenever you, Constable Fraser, do something wonderful for your country, one of three things has to happen to you: you get shot in the leg, Ray Vecchio gets angry at you, or you go out for coffee with Inspector Thatcher."
Fraser began to twitch. The old Ray wasn't there to get angry, Inspector Thatcher wasn't there for coffee, so that left only. . .
"Detective, would you like to do the honours?" offered TMYM. Ray obliged by plugging Fraser's right leg. And then they all went home.