The IMO Buyout of ICI

(Or "What Really Happened in Grapevine, Texas")

Toad's ICI Contact "You nevah sssssay who do zissssss, yessssss, Doad?" The mysterious figure's eyes glow deep beneath its rough hood as it nervously fondles its portable air-powered doughnut maker. (ICI programmers simply love doughnuts!)

"No, of courses not. Have I ever let you down?" Toad replies, looking nervously around. He wishes his contact wouldn't always insist on meeting way out here in the desert like this. Toad is far more comfortable in swamps and woods. Despite the changes in size, personality and intelligence brought about by his mutation, he's still amphibian to the core.

"And you're sure this is what happened? I thought they kept on the old staff."

"Ohhhh yesssssss, zey keep ze pwogwammahssssss on .. bu' ze managemend ... well, zey be wepwaced wid boddle-waisssed cwonessssss .. bwain impwandssss, you sssssseee."

"Oh .. OK, well I guess that makes sense. Nobody ever pays any attention to management anyway, I guess. Well, I gotta go, I'm drying out out here! Here's the stuff. You got the photos, right?"

Toad holds out a large paper bag full of a white powder. The ICI contact shies away from him and gestures down with the muzzle of the donut maker. A plain manila envelope slides from its sleeve and lands on the ground.

Toad carefully sets down the paper bag and picks up the envelope, taking a hurried glance inside to insure it's what his contact promised. It looks good: several glossy photographs.

"You bwing usssssss mowah Cwissssssspy Cweme doughnud mix nexd dime you come, nexd dime, yessss, Doad?" the hooded figure asks as it eagerly picks up the bag of instant doughnut mix. "We wike Cwissssssspy Cweme, yessssss, pweciousssss..."

Toad grimaces and wonders again where these ICI guys learned their English. Old Peter Lorre movies, from the sound of it, with a little Porky Pig thrown in.

"Yeah, sure .. you get something else good and I'll get you all the Crispy Creme doughnut mix you want!" Toad wonders again how the strange beings ever developed a taste for the North Carolina yeast doughnuts. These ICI guys sure do get around!

"And thanks again for the photos; I'll make sure they get into the right hands." Toad tries to be polite, but any courtesy is wasted on the little figure. He watches while the hooded figure scuttles away into the wasteland, clutching the precious paper bag to its (?) chest (?). Minutes later there's the cough of an engine and the crunch of rocks under heavy wheels. Curious, Toad scrambles up over the nearest pile of rocks, just in time to see a camouflaged Humm-V roll away, its tiny hooded driver barely visible through the dust.

"Weirder and weirder," Toad thinks to himself as he walks out across the packed sand. Taking a moment to brush the dust off his gleaming riding boots, he clambers up into his little Storch. More comfortable now that he's out of the hot Texas sun, the big amphibian settles back in the canvas pilot's seat and takes a long refreshing quaff of Deicer from the canvas waterbag hanging from the door. Then the dashing Warbirds pilot readjusts his long white silk scarf, lights up a Parodi, and takes a more leisurely look of the 8x10 glossies.

The Takeover Team Arrives
The takeover team arrives.

They introduce themselves.
They introduce themselves.

There's a different management style.
Their management style is different from what the ICI staff is used to.

The meeting doesn't go well.
The meeting doesn't go well.