The weather report on the insectornet said the day was going to be a beautiful sunny day: a perfect day for finding food flowers and so Home Hive’s head scout should have been busy, buzzing about in the bushes. But she wasn’t. Because the queen bee had to find a way to stop the Stompers, she had been stuck here on this prickly rose bush since just after warm up this morning, waiting for Miss Stick - the mystic, to finish her sleep seeing - but the mystical, wobble-dancing stick insect seemed to be taking forever to see a SEE and the head scout was really, really bored.
‘Um, do you have anything to tell the queen yet Miss Stick?’ she had danced quietly, but Miss Stick didn’t seem to see a thing she was saying. In fact, the head scout didn’t think Miss Stick would be able to see a ten legged fly at a freak show, let alone dream some secret message for the queen bee. But she had her orders, and so even if she did think all this “trance dance” stuff was a load of old cobwebs she must get Miss Stick to do her “sleep-seeing” and hopefully she will find a way to stop the Stompers from taking their bizzy-buzzy, tree chomping chainsaws and cutting down all the world’s forests. She simply must because Her Royal Highness had tried everything she could think of to show the greedy Stompers that what they were doing was turning the planet into a dusty desert, covered in concrete and throwaway plastic but because the Stompers can’t speak insect, they didn’t understand and so if she was going to stop this madness the queen bee would have to find some other way to show the Stompers how badly they are bee-having.
‘I have “IT”,’ Miss Stick suddenly shouted.
‘At last,’ danced the head scout. ‘And what is it?’
‘Her Royal Highness,’ Miss Stick said importantly, ‘should never, ever, play Twister with a Daddy Longlegs.’
‘What...? Are you telling me that by not playing Twister with a Daddy Longlegs, the queen will somehow stop the Stompers?’
‘No, of course not silly,’ Miss Stick replied. ‘Inspector Insector will be the one who will stop the Stompers.’
‘Inspector Insector....?’ buzzed the head scout. ‘Who is Inspector Insector?’
‘His name is Charlie Bizzo. He’s the Stomper the queen is going to put in charge of the Special Insect Squad,’ Miss Stick replied with a smile.
‘What Special Insect Squad,’ danced the head scout? ‘We don’t have a Special Insect Squad.’
‘Well no, not yet we don’t because I only saw it in my “sleep see” about five sways ago. But we will soon. That was what my “trance dance” was all about you see. It was showing me how we insects are going to stop the Stompers. Come on, we have to go and teach the queen how to put antennae into the Stomper, Charlie Bizzo’s head.’
Charlie awoke to find his head felt all tickly. It was a strange feeling, like a gazillion little feet had spent the night walking up and down, and around and around and up and over his face. And then there were the strange lumps on his forehead. He was sure those two wriggly “things” shouldn’t be there but he could feel them twitching; all by themselves they twitched so he knew something strange must have happened during the night, but what? What words could possibly explain whatever it was that went on while he was asleep? If only he didn't feel so giddy, maybe he would be able to remember something; but oh, his aching, twirling, swirling, head.
Rubbing his eyes, he tried to slow the dizziness; if it was indeed dizziness he was feeling. The tingle inside his head felt more like pins and needles. Could his brain get pins and needles? He couldn’t quite remember. There was a lot he couldn't quite remember.
'Think,' he said to himself. 'Come on Charlie, think.’
He tried hard to process his memories but his CPU had become a jumbled mess. His CPU...? Does his brain have a CPU? It can’t do.... can it?
‘What in the web has happened to me?’
Charlie shook his head to try and clear the fuzziness. He knew there must be a reason why he felt so wobbly in the noggin but he couldn’t think what it was unless.....
‘Could it be because I’m turning into an insect?’ he asked himself, and then he cringed as the inside of his head flashed blue-white and an electric shock hit the backs of his eyeballs. The sudden “zap” caused a strange taste in his mouth and the force of it made his ears pop. Charlie didn’t like it at all. It was a horrible feeling which made him terribly woozy. He didn’t much care for the strange buzzing noise either. He would have screamed but before he could open his mouth, the pain started in the back of his head. A sharp, stabbing pain which blurred his vision, making him hurt more and more, until finally he blacked out.
Within a millisecond, computer garble filled his mind and Charlie would never be the same again.
Just how long he was out to it he had no way of knowing. His head could have been filling up with computer garble for minutes; or hours; or days. He quite simply did not know. He was completely boggled by the whole affair and as he lay there, he wondered if maybe he was losing his mind.
He felt ok. He didn’t “feel” mad but then how could he possibly know when there was so much he couldn’t remember? Did he even have memories to recall? He couldn’t really say for sure. All he knew for certain was that he now had two long, wriggly “things” growing out of his forehead that wriggled and jiggled all on their own.
Shakily, Charlie tried to get out of bed but yet more wooziness came over him as he put his feet on the floor and he stumbled forward. Twirling dizzily around, he fell backwards onto the rug with a loud thump.
‘That was weird,’ he said. ‘I feel like.... well, like I should have more legs; a lot more legs. I’ve got two.... but how many should I have?’
I know it sounds strange, not to know how many legs you should have. Normally Charlie would know such things without even having to think about it but he just wasn’t himself this morning. The only trouble was he didn’t have the slightest clue as to who it was he had become.
After a while Charlie tried once again to stand. He had to report for work soon. He was on duty at nine o’clock and he still hadn’t brushed his shoes or ironed his shirt. Somehow he had to pull himself together and get ready to go out into the big, wide world and catch bad guys. It was his duty. Charlie must keep the streets safe. It was his job.
He tried for the third time to get to his feet but he still couldn’t make his legs do what he wanted. It wasn’t a nice feeling, not being able to work his body. Whatever was he going to do? He couldn’t just lie there on the floor forever. He would have to get up sometime but maybe he should take a little breather first. Just for a little while. That would at least give him a chance to come up with a plan, for Charlie knew he was smart. He was super smart in fact, but the night’s strange happenings had done something to muddle his mind. He wasn’t too worried though, for a thought was beginning to form in the back of his head and that must mean he was beginning to return to normal.
‘Indeed,’ he said to himself. ‘Just as soon as I investigate the reason why I have suddenly grown these strange wriggly “things” I’ll.... I’ll be able to.... I’ll be able to LOG ON!’
All by themselves his wriggly “things” began jiggling this way and that. They danced about his forehead searching all around the room, and as they wiggled towards the back wall, Charlie felt something click inside his head. It was an electrical, switching type of click and he knew straight away that his newly installed brain changing, insect-o-mind program had located a wireless connection to the....... WOW-A!!!!’ ......In the split second it took for his eyes to brighten, Charlie was scanned, his user name and password was logged on and he was in. In the blink of an eye Charlie Bizzo became the first ever human being to have full, unrestricted access to all the knowledge and skills of every single insect living on the planet.
The insectornet was a-buzz with the news and Bugsy Bombardier was not happy. Whatever was her Majesty thinking, giving this Charlie Bizzo fellow unrestricted access; not only to their top secret insect data base but the entire insectornet network? Why even Fly-Spy would come under the Stomper’s control and that would mean that every agent working as a “fly on the wall” would no longer report to the queen bee but would answer directly to this Inspector Insector fellow.
‘So your new cop is a Stomper eh?’ Bugsy snorted, ‘And you think you can trust him to fix things? Well I don’t trust Stompers your royal high and mightiness, not after everything they’ve done to us. Besides, I’m my own beetle. I do things my own way so I’m going to teach the greedy Stompers how to “live more of an insect kind of life” without the help of your Inspector Insector.’
With that Bugsy Bombardier waved his backside in the air in the direction of the queen bee before storming off to crawl back under his rotten log.
It had only been a day and a half since Charlie Bizzo had become Inspector Insector and so everything still felt very strange. He wasn’t used to being connected to the insectornet, or thinking like an insect either and that is why he nearly jumped out of his overcoat when he was buzzed. The high pitched “♪bizz-zit bizz-zit♪” sound echoed really loudly inside his head. It certainly got his attention though, even if it did make his heart go boom-tee-boom-tee-boom. Still, he only had to take a couple of deep breaths to calm down before he was ready to listen to the message from Home Hive Security....
‘Inspector Insector, your first mission is to stop the Stompers from cutting down all the world’s forests. This is a very big job and so Her Royal Highness - the queen bee says you are to tell anyone who has what it takes to become an Insect Investigator to click here to join the Special Insect Squad and get access to all the case files in Home Hive Security’s TOP SECRET filing cabinet.
Case file 1A: Chief Fire Officer Fluffy-Farts and the Rain Forest Fire Brigade couldn’t put the fire out. It is up to Inspector Insector and his Insect Investigators to save the world’s rain forests.
Case file 2A: Agent Zizz-Bit called for the wax moth caterpillars to eat the plastic rubbish on the beach but there was just too much. Not even Miss Stick’s “sleep-see” solution could do it. Inspector Insector’s Insect Investigators have a really big job ahead of them.
Case file 3A: The ring master of the Great Orlando’s Magical Flea Circus has been arrested for not having a passport. What should Inspector Insector do about it?
Case file 4A: Inspector Insector has been called to investigate a case of greedy gobbling. But should he stop Bazoo from munching his way into the book of big eaters?
Case file 5A: because of all the bright lights, Mister Spooks isn’t up to scaring the pants off of the Stompers. His poor old moth-y mind has become quite fuzzily muddled. Whatever can the Special Insect Squad do?
Case file 6A: the cricket match has been stopped because of a streaking snail and the Stompers think it’s a slug. The Special Insect Squad must teach them what an invertebrate is.
Case file 7A: Mavis Flutters has been murdered by an insect known as the Bugbear. The only problem is everyone knows the Bugbear only exists in scary bedtime stories so what’s going on?
Case file 8A: it had started raining - but it wasn’t raining raindrops. Miss Margaret was frozen to the spot, covered head to toe in wriggly, tickly....