“Mordecai is an African Grey boy and Bubbles is a Quaker girl, so we should go with neutral colors in the baby room,” Chloe said, studying the room they were setting up in the castle for their new arrivals due soon.
“It’s always exciting to have new arrivals in Anipal Land,” Sassy said, “but this is even more exciting because Mordecai is my baby brother!”
“We’re happy for you,” Emma said, “and I’m even happier that I’m not the youngest one here anymore. Now I can finally teach others all that I’ve learned here in Anipal Land!”
“I’m nervous,” Chloe said. “I’ve been chosen as Bubbles’ mentor. We didn’t have Quakers in the aviary, because they’re illegal in Tennessee. I hope I teach her well.”
“You’ll do fine,” ConureChick said. “You have a lot of valuable experience now, and I’m sure she’ll learn quickly under your tutelage.”
Just then, they heard squawking outside, followed by loud thumps on the roof. Dixie turned from the playgym setup to look out the window. “Guys, it’s snowing.”
“That’s impossible!” Conure Chick said. “It’s eighty degrees and sunny outside!”
“I see snow falling,” Dixie said. “Nehemiah and Shiloh are on the roof fiddling with something. This isn’t good.”
“Guys, come outside quick!” Kermit said. “You aren’t going to believe this!”
The nursery squad rushed outside to see that Nehemiah and Shiloh frantically pulling wires from a drone spewing snow and water from several cracks. Goofus, Georgie Boy, and Charlie were rushing about assisting them.
“Oh no, that’s one of our weather drones!” Sassy said, flying to the roof to assist as a gust of cold air rushed from a crack in the probe, sending feathers flying. Sparks flew from the drone as the boys yanked off panels and pulled wires, their strong beaks working frantically to stop the outburst of foul weather.
“Got it!” Charlie said, ripping out a red wire. The drone collapsed in a heap on the roof. The rest of the anipals made their way to the roof to inspect the wayward drone.
“What happened?” Chloe asked. “Those drones are reliable in shipping weather where it’s needed.”
“It’s been hacked,” Nehemiah said, studying the small display screen. “Somebody took the probe and reprogrammed it to balance weather instead of just ship it. If it’s hot, it’s programmed to be windy and snow.”
“And if it’s cold and snowing, it’s programmed to dissipate the clouds and scorch the ground,” Sassy said. “Who would do this?”
“Somebody at Toko Toys and Electronics,” Georgie Boy said, reading the sticker on the back of the probe.
“Toko Toys and Electronics?” Shiloh asked. “Who’s that?”
The anipals looked at one another, shrugging in wonder.
“Let’s get it inside and see if we can find out more about what happened to this drone,” Goofus said.
Chloe and Sassy fetched a wagon, and the anipals carefully moved the probe to the research room in the castle basement. Sassy was still fretting after they locked the probe and started back toward the nursery renovations.
“I still don’t understand why somebody would hack our probe,” she said. “We send it to provide weather relief where it’s needed. What harm has it done?”
“None,” Chloe said, “it’s a mystery.”
Everybody stopped in their tracks as frantic screaming and pop guns rang out from the play room up the hall. Chloe’s
feathers stood up. “That’s Zack and Jinx screaming!”
They rushed to the playroom.