The Incredible Kolchak
By Ricky L. Phillips
It had been a slow news week at the Hollywood Dispatch. No Hollywood marriages breaking up. No backstage rivals stopping filming. So instead of keeping me hanging around the office my editor decided to send me out on a story that was newsworthy. It was September 29th at 10:30am and I was on my way to Palmdale, CA to research background on a local man nominated for the Nobel Prize. It was a local boy makes good story. His name was Dr. Hanson Koo. My research revealed that he was first generation American. His parents came to the States over 50 years ago and settled in Palmdale. Shortly after the move the good Dr. was born. He did quite well in school. His best subject was science. Graduated at the top of the class and went to UCLA. He went to work for the government after college. Then took early retirement and went to teach at his alma mater. Recently he had invented a dust that, when inhaled, could stop people with aggressive tendencies. It got him the Nobel Prize nomination. That is what brought me to Palmdale. The story I found was completely different.
It was 12:35pm when I arrived in Palmdale I headed to the local newspaper. I was there to ask directions and to see what more I could find out about the Koo family. What I did find was the beginning of the real story. Two Police officers were listed in critical condition at the hospital. It seems that a couple of days ago the two officers noticed a drifter sleeping on a park bench. The officers woke him and started giving him a rough time before asking him to move on. No one knows where he came from but suddenly there appeared a giant green colored monster. He tossed the two officers around as if they were toys. They fired their weapons but the bullets had no effect on the monster. All it did was make him angrier. He grabbed both men and threw them into the woods. Then the monster walked away. The drifter was no where to be found. People thought he may have left during all the commotion. The eyewitnesses all had the same story. The police combed the woods the next morning. They were about to abandon the search for the two men in blue when they heard a moan…and looked up. There at the top of a tree laid the two officers. Rescue Squads got them down and rushed them to the hospital. I tried to see the two officers but both drifted into comas shortly after arriving at the hospital.
The rest of the time I spent doing what I came there for. Interviewing Dr. Koo’s old teachers, family and friends. Basically they all said the same thing. That he was a nice, smart man and he deserved the award.
On the way out of town I noticed some foot prints in the desert. I stopped and examined them. They were roughly five times my size. Along the way I noticed that the footprints were getting smaller. They stopped once they reached the size of a normal man. I walked back to my car and drove on. I kept an eye on the foot prints out of the corner of my eye. Their size and direction never changed. Whoever or whatever it was had a single destination in mind. It was headed for Los Angeles.
On the way back I seemed to remember reading stories in another paper about a big green monster. When I got back to the office I typed up the local boy makes good story as well as the one about the attack on the two officers. Then I looked up the other stories about our jolly green giant. The stories were in various tabloids that were all just a step below the Hollywood Dispatch. However, the first was in a top notch paper. It appeared that the monster’s first known attack was on a laboratory and killed a man and woman scientists who were working inside. That story and the others were all written by the same reporter named Jack…
My reading was interrupted by the bellowing of my editor Tony Vincenzo. Instead of ignoring him as I usually do I decided to save us both time and actually answer him.
“Yes Tony! What is it?”
“Carl you turned in two stories. From a normal reporter that would make me happy but one of them was your typical monster story. Why couldn’t you just say the drifter did it?”
“Because Tony being a reporter means I have to print the truth and eyewitnesses said it was a green monster that attacked the officers and the drifter was gone.”
“Ok but what is this nonsense about his footprints shrinking and you think he was headed toward LA?”
“That’s what I saw!”
“I can’t print that. It would cause a panic!”
“That’s what I saw. This thing seemed to be getting smaller with every step it took.”
“Well if that is true then LA has nothing to worry about.”
“Then you can print the story.”
“I’ll do my best but no promises Carl.”
While Tony was doing his best I decided to work on a hunch. The monster’s first attack, if it was the same monster, was on a laboratory. Suddenly it appears in the hometown of a possible Nobel Prize winner. Then it seemed to be heading toward Los Angeles. The city where that same scientist worked. I drove toward UCLA to see if I could talk to Dr. Hanson Koo.
6:05pm my scanner goes off. Police respond to a call. There was a disturbance at the Kirby diner on Lee Street. I drove there as fast as I could. When I arrived the dinner looked like it had been in a war zone. Windows broken out. Seats and tables that were bolted down had been ripped out of the floor. I found the officer in charged and asked him a few questions.
“Kolchak! Hollywood Dispatch! What happened here officer?”
“Some guys came in here and started giving everyone a hard time. Then a fight broke out and that’s that.”
“A fight did all of this!!”
“Well you won’t believe the stories I’m really hearing.”
“Off the record?”
I hate it when they ask me that. But I wanted to hear the truth.
“I’ll keep it off the record.” But for my own personal record I kept my tape recorder running.
“The guys started in on a guy at the counter. They grabbed him and started shoving him around. One of them even started coming at him with a knife. The guy dodged the knife but the second guy pushed him over the counter. From there it gets strange.”
“Well some people say that some giant showed up and did all this damage. The guy with the knife is in shock. All he can say is the little guy did it. He keeps repeating it over and over.”
I thanked the officer. He was so nice to me I figured he must be new to the department. I interviewed others but got the same story that the Officer gave me. I decided to head back to the Dispatch. I typed up my story. I decided to keep my promise to the officer and keep the monster angle out of the story. At least till I had more dots to connect it to. Then I decided to see if I can still catch up to Dr. Hanson Koo.
When I get to UCLA it’s late. Some people are still there but most have gone home. I pass a janitor in the hallway as he is mopping the floor. I almost knock over his bucket.
“Hey be careful fella!”
I look him square in the eye and he quickly turns away. I don’t know why but I feel like I know him from somewhere.
I continue down the hall and I find that dedicated man of science that he is Dr. Koo is still hard at work. There are two soldiers outside his office door. I notice their both ranked Private. One is named Colvin the other Bixby. Without a word to them I start toward the door but they both stop me.
“Private Colvin my name is Kolchak. I’m from the Hollywood Dispatch. The Dr. is expecting me.”
At that moment Dr. Koo opens the door.
“What’s going on out here?”
“Mr. Kolchak here is with the press. He says you’re expecting him.”
“I don’t recall any appointment but I am always willing to talk to the press.”
The guards part and allow me into see the Dr.
“So Mr. Kolchak what can I do for you?”
“Well Dr. with your Nobel Prize nomination we are doing a story on you and I was hoping you could tell us more about your invention.”
“Well as you can see the government is interested in it.”
“Has it been classified as top secret?”
“Not yet. But if you know about my nomination then you should already know what my invention can do.”
“I know it does suppress any aggressive tendencies a person has.”
At that moment the door opened. The janitor came in.
“Just need to get the trash Dr. I hope I didn’t interrupt anything”
“That’s alright Dave we’re just talking. Now Mr. Kolchak look at this.”
He showed me a mouse in a clear plastic cage. The mouse was running around like crazy trying to find a way out. The Dr. pressed a button and the dust was released from a compartment into the cage. In seconds the mouse calmed down and started eating a piece of cheese in the corner.
“Very impressive Dr.”
“The only thing left is to find out how to release it if a war broke out.”
A voice came from behind me.
“Perhaps you could put it inside a bomb and have it explode overhead. Then the dust would filter down.”
I turned to see that the janitor had been standing behind me during the demonstration. I noticed that the trash can had not been touched. I don’t think he was here to clean the room.
“Yes that is possible.”
“I wouldn’t say anymore to him Dr. He may be a spy.”
“Oh I trust Dave. He’s been helping me. He wouldn’t steal my invention.”
Just then the door flew open and in walked Private’s Colvin and Bixby. Both had their guns drawn.
“But we would Dr. Now hand it over.”
“You two are spies?”
“That’s right. We wouldn’t be blowing our cover like this to you but we just found out that the bodies of the real Colvin and Bixby were found. Now give us the invention so no one gets hurt.”
Bixby, or whatever his real name is, grabs the Dr. Dave tries to stop him. I try to distract Colvin so he doesn’t shoot anyone. I was not successful. The gun went off. The Dr. fell to the ground. His head was bleeding. Colvin slammed me into the wall.
As I look up I see Dave standing over the body of the Dr. He looks like he is in pain and he seems to be getting bigger. Bixby pushes Dave out the window. In a few seconds the wall comes crashing in on us. Standing there in the opening is the biggest and greenest monster I have ever seen. The clothes he has are ragged and torn but they are the same ones that Dave had on a moment ago.
Colvin and Bixby fire at the monster but the bullets bounce off him. The monster grabs them both and throws then into the wall. They both land next to me on the floor. The monster looks at me. He seems to smile when he sees I am still alive. Then he turns his attention to Dr. Koo. He bends over and caresses the Dr. Then he stands up and runs away. After all that excitement I passed out.
When I woke up government officials were on the scene. Colvin and Bixby were still out cold but now under arrest. Dr. Koo was still alive. The bullet just barely hit him. All it did was knock him out. I told them my story but they didn’t believe me. They said I dreamed it while I was knocked out. But they came up with their own story how the wall caved in. The only ones who could back up my story were Colvin and Bixby and they weren’t talking. The other would be Dave. They said they would find him and get his side of the story. I knew they never would. I remembered where I saw Dave. In that first article on the monsters attack that killed two scientist. Dave was one of the scientists. I guess an experiment went wrong and made him this monster. No body was found so they thought he was dead. Hearing of Dr. Koo Dave came here to find a cure.
The next day when I got back to the office I called Palmdale to check on the two officers. Both were out of their comas and doing fine. Except neither one of them remembers what it was that put them in the hospital. The trauma of it all caused them to block it from their memory. So the monster doesn’t seem to have killed anyone. Too bad Dave doesn’t know that.
My story about the two officers did get printed. However, Tony saw to it that the monster was changed to a stranger who helped the drifter. Once I saw that I knew there was no sense in trying to sell Tony this new monster story. Let that be a lesson. Don’t believe everything you read in the papers. So if you read a story that says a green monster caused some trouble, don’t believe it. It’s just Dave searching for help and I hope he finds the help he needs.