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Like a Mothman to the Flame

 At 12:04 am EST, Deputy Sherrif Warran Baker responded to a call nearby a local cell tower. Initial reporting went a large man was seen climbing the structure to something about giant cranes flying headfirst into its blinking red lights. 

The Deputy arrived on the scene by 12:13. The sky was dark but clear. In the pale illuminance of the full moon, the Deputy could see through the cluster of narrow pine trees the shadowy outline of someone holding on near the top of the tower.

"Woah, that son of a bitch is big," marveled Warran.

"Sir, this is the Cherylsburg sheriff's department. You are trespassing on private property. Immediately climb down from the tower and put your hands above your head." Warran sternly ordered from his car's megaphone.

The figure pushed off from the tower, and a pair of tattered wings quickly unfolded from its back and spasmodically flapped to save it from the free fall. The motion slowed to an uneasy fluttering, and the creature hovered for a moment. It looked down on Warran with two glowing red eyes that, from Warren's perspective, each had to be the size of a man's head. The creature stared at Warren a moment. Before unleashing a horrific shriek that reverberated in the air like a bell in a pitch that felt like hat pins to the eardrums.

Warran ducked under the dash and covered his ears. His head felt rattled, but he shook it off and picked himself back up. The creature flew straight into the tower. It bounced off the steel frame then waited a moment before bashing itself into the same spot, again and again.

Warran got on the radio, "Dispatch this is car 1-2 requesting back up." 

"Roger 1-2."

With trembling hands, Warran pulled out his phone. "I'm going live with this. I don't give a shit what the review board says," he muttered. 

Warran got the beast in the frame, but when he tried to go live, the application timed out.

"Dammit! The signal keeps getting lost!" Warran fumed.

A pair of headlights flashed through his rear window, and a white van pulled up just behind him.

"Oh shit," Warran huffed as he got out of his car.

Two men jumped from the van's side door. The first was a short man with a slight build wearing a pair of over-the-ear headphones that covered his skull like a hat and wired to a little handheld device that sounded like a cross between a pager and a Geiger counter. 

He was followed by a much taller and much older, gangly fellow with long hair and bugged eyes that were much too magnified by thick frame glasses.

Warran moved to intercept them when the driver stepped between them. He was around 6'1 with a medium build that perfectly filled his T-shirt. His rigorously conditioned hair was neat but casual, and his walnut brown eyes complemented a face that seemed both sincere and detached.

"Agent Mantree EPA" is how the handsome stranger opened introductions.

"Deputy Sherrif Warran Baker. I'm gonna need you to step back and-

"Deputy, we need to shut that tower down now," Mantree cut Warran off.

"What the hell are you talking about?" snapped Warran.

"I'm Doctor Froamberg, professor of theoretical physics at UMA," the lanky one in glasses interjected. "Deputy, that creature is what is commonly referred to as a "Mothman." It's a biological anomaly caused by splits in the timeline.

"Ok?" Warran shrugged.

The little guy carrying the gadgets pushed his headphones off his ears. "WE have found conclusive proof that 5G infrastructure fatally interferes with the Mothman's internal navigation system. It can't see that it's bumping into a steel tower. It only knows to keep going into the light."

"Thank you, Dan, that was very illuminating," said Mantree before turning back to Warran. "There are believed to be fewer than 10 mothmen left in the wild. If we don't turn off this tower, the Mothman will die, and the species might never recover," Mantree said gravely.

"I never heard of one of these damn things." Warran scoffed.

"Sheriff, we need to protect this creature," Mantree insisted. "It might have important knowledge about coming events!"

"There's a lot of data that suggests since mothmen have almost a psychic sensitivity to future events," explained the doctor.

"In other words, they can see the future," said Mantree. "They can tell us where and when disasters will happen, and we can use that to save lives."

"Where was this one going?" asked Warran.

"We believe this Mothman is heading north towards New York," Mantree said ominously.

"Or Winnepeg," suggested the doctor.

"Yeah, could be there's a lot of stuff in that direction," said Mantree.

The creature shrieked again as it continued its bumbling assault on the tower.

"Alright! Do what you have to do," Conceded Warran. "Just stop that thing from messing up the tower!"

"Alright, here's the plan first we need you to- 

A rifle shot cracked in the air sending clouds of black birdes off into the night. The Mothman froze in the air and gripped its chest. It shrieked once more, this time so shrilly the windows on Warran's cruiser burst. The Mothman's gleaming crimson eyes blinked out as it fell from the sky.

"Did you see that!"

Red and blue lights flashed beneath the pine, and Deputy Sherrif Johnson came running out from the treeline rifle in hand, giddy over his perfectly aimed shot.

"Did you see that!" he repeated.

Johnson ran up to Warran, paying no attention to the EPA agent and his entourage. "What's been going on out there. I've been trying to call, but the reception is shit!"

Johnson looked at the mangled cell tower. The remaining lights on its steel branches were blinking weakly and sporadically.

"Damn, that thing really did a number on that tower. I guess that would explain the reception." Mused Johnson.


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