-CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA-
Just above the Western Cape, the sun is hot and beaming down on the southernmost tip of the African Continent. You, in a fashionable red jogging suit, are cruising up the hill powered by your own two feet. All this agent training is doing wonders for my lower body strength, you think, as your iPod blasts another song and you notice the attractive local flora. It's a tough hill to climb, but it's all in a day's work. Best of all, it's easy to go incognito among the locals enjoying a warm South African morning. You notice the time and increase your pace, knowing that there's a good chance that if you arrive at your destination after a certain time...your clue might not still be there.
Five minutes, and you're still chugging up the mountain, groovin' along, when a boom nearly knocks you off your feet.
Nope, it's just the Noon Gun. Phew.
The Noon Gun's been going off like clockwork - literally - for over a hundred years. Why should today be any different than the others? Regardless, a clue awaits, so you press on.
A few minutes later...
You arrive, somewhat sweaty but none the worse for wear, at the top of Signal Hill, where the Noon Gun sits in all its glory. You look around the area, and see...
Absolutely nothing out of the ordinary. You get a tap on the shoulder, and turn around to see...
A park ranger, squarely behind you, holding a small item in one hand, and a green package resembling a book in the other hand. The agent from the African team must have been here and-
"......." says the ranger.
WHAT? you say.
The ranger points to your ears. Oh.
You take off your headphones, and he continues."Like I was saying, I think your friend was looking for you, but then got bored and left this here to give to you."
"Oh, thank you!"
"By the way, while you're here, do you want to do the honors?"
"Firing the Noon Gun. It's just about time," notes the ranger, checking his watch.
"But what was that boom I heard while I was running up here?"
"Some mining nearby. There's a quarry near here."
"With all due respect, I don't believe you, sir." you say, checking your own watch. "It's past noon."
"I work here, and I know of the cannon's schedule, and I assure you, your watch must be fast, miss. Now, how about firing the gun?"
"Well, sure, why not?"
You take the book and the item.
"Here, you go over to the gun, and pull the string with this device, so you don't get hurt."
"Thanks!" You trot over to the gun and pull, and in the second before it goes off, you become aware of 3 things.
1. The ranger is nowhere to be seen.
2. The Noon Gun is powered by a remotely fired device which detonates the gun. It's been that way for years.
3. The item you're holding looks oddly like a...BOOMERANG. BOOM. Game over.