OK… so it IS the tiny, little ‘Stranded on a Desert Island’ Island

With the camera pulled back to reveal the “island,” we can see that it’s not much of an island after all…  and where is the boat?  It would still be smoldering..  The Rocks upon which they ran it aground?  Nothing.  Squat. Zilch…

And Oh brother… What exposure?  Probably get more exposure at the dentist’s office from an annual check-up… I don’t think they even drape that lead vest over me anymore…

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Anyway, the pelican is slack-jawed at the news that Mark, Ken and Kelly are “contaminated…”  I think this is funny that Ken is going to call Kelly… “Don’t worry sweetheart, a couple of guys wearing haz-mat suits are going to ‘schwing by’ and pick you up… Nothing at all to worry about… Nothing at all…

Hold On There, Buckeroo!

The look on Mark’s face in panel one is right out of the Mark Trail clip-art library… The comment classic, blowing the smoke off the barrel of his proverbial six-shooter, he’s ready to move on…

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“Yes, since I blew up our water-borne conveyance, we sure could use a ride, uniformed, official looking man…”  But wait! There seems to be a rub, Mark!  It would seem that there is more that needs to be taken into account before you and Mississippi Ken get to do “a little fishing…”  Why are the Feds always so humorless?  So un-trusting?

 

Who Cleans up Nuclear Spills?

Well, Mark… look at you.  Arms folded, demanding answers.  “What about the Cobalt-60 we found?  Huh?” Now I think Agent Christie is improvising a bit.  Pretty sure it’s not DHS that corrals and cleans up nuclear material…  I think that would be DOE?  It’s probably difficult to be on the Federal payroll… to know where one’s jurisdiction and authority begins and ends…  And unless Jorge was silly enough to cross the line into terrestrial waters, the US has no jurisdiction over him…  Guessing he probably high-tailed it out of range once he saw the Authorities.  And good luck getting that hover-craft back into the water now that it’s thoroughly beached…

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Well, hello, Mr. Bird.  Are you finding this all entertaining?  Enjoying the banquet of… what?  Clams? Not rocks, given the symmetry…  But what would have caused a mass beaching of clams?  Mark!  Your work is not done here- it’s not just about the apex predator, it’s also about the lowly bivalve…  get busy!!

Not like you guys did anything…

By the time the Feds showed up, Mark and Ken had things well in hand… and they could have taken the sea-ATV’s back to the mainland and been safe as kittens… so for all the pomp and hardware the Coast Guard brought, I’d say it was sort of unnecessary…  Other than to fill us in on the sea-borne terrorist ring that threatened our hero…

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Glad to see a little wildlife back in the picture… literally.  A hallmark of Trail’s-past, every strip had some form of fauna in it… As the random sea-birds make themselves known, we can be confident that the Cobalt-60 is in custody and Mark and Ken have a ride back home…

Moral of the Story… They are EVERYWHERE…

Nice head-fake… Here we were made to think (or at least I was…) that the guy at the dive shop was a Baddie, simply because he had a scowl… but I suppose that’s part of “Operative Training…”  But clearly Profiling isn’t on the syllabus…  What on earth would lead anyone to think that Mark looked “suspicious?” Why, he’s the very embodiment of “good” and “right…”

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Drones?  Domestic surveillance?  Warrantless searches?  Where is the ACLU when you need them?  What’s even more annoying is the smug look on Cousin Christie’s face…

Did Chris Christie get his brother a job with DHS?

I swear the Agent in today’s installment is the spitting image of the New Jersey Governor and Presidential hopeful…

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At least Evil has a name- Jorge!  But doesn’t Perro mean ‘dog’ en Español?  Jorge the Dog??  And how does one retire from being a “Military Strong-man?”  Other than by being on the wrong side of a revolution or a coup?  Or maybe he invoked the “Dread Pirate Roberts” Model… hand picking and installing a successor while making off with the treasury in order to pursue other passions…

So… deus ex machina… and we are out of this story…

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…could not have said it any better myself…

Yea… and then this sea monster came… and…

Oh good heavens…  Mark, let me remind you- you were never attacked underwater… you assumed ill intent and you were the aggressor.  Three people are dead because of you…

I can hear their voices going up at the end of every sentence, just like kids telling parents a huge fib as to why they were late in coming home for dinner…

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Ken still looks a little rattled, but Mark has regained his equanimity… Ain’ no big thang, y’all… All in a day’s “work” for a Nature Writer…

So… We’ll never get to meet the Leader of the Bad Guys?

As Mark spills his guts to the authorities, whom he might have called in the first place, is this the end of our story?  Trail 6, Evil Hench-men zip?  Dr. Evil still at large, able to plot for another day? Or perhaps he has gone down and retrieved the Cobalt-60 by now, since there isn’t anyone to stop him…

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The guy from DHS is no doubt listening to Mark’s story and thinking, “Really?  OK, buddy, that’s a great story.  You can tell it to the judge…”  And make sure that they get Ken’s last name so that he can be fully implicated too…  Mark, you better get a copy of the report they are going to write up in order to include that with your story to the insurance company, unless you’ve got an extra 60-80 large lying around to pay for the boat you destroyed…  But then insurance policies typically exclude acts of war and terror…

Of course! It’s the Federales!

Not since USDA Agent Abbey (with an ‘e’) Powell came to rescue Wally from his Emerald Ash Borer infestation have we seen such a display of capability and might…  Let’s try to figure out how DHS got involved in this story…  My guess is that it was that Saucy Siren that sent Mark the Nuclear Dive Suit… What was her name?  Oh yea, Leslie Joyce…

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Oh, and while the henchmen still lie comatose on the beach, Agent Johnson goes for a little humor… This is my brother Darryl and and my other brother Darryl…  no relation…  So with Homeland Security on the case, what could go wrong?  Does everyone get to go home now and fill out the insurance paperwork?  At least Special Agent Johnson has an automatic weapon, and I suppose that he hasn’t the inclination to fire it randomly into the jungle…