--Ah-rawoo, yip, yip, yipyipyip!--
"Any idea what in the hell all that racket is about?" James asked in an irritated yet soft voice. Max shook his head distractedly.
"Code of some kind," he replied. "I recognize the phases. Whoever it is, they aren't making random wolf noises."
"We know it's a code," James shot back impatiently. "But what are they saying?"
"Literally, bug-ant-goose dung-eagle-ant-lips, ice-taco ice-sky taco-owl-owl. Like I said, it makes no sense."
James looked at his technologically inclined team mate in shock. And then he started laughing quietly.
"Bug-ant-goose dung-eagle-ant-lips; big deal," he said. When Max looked at his funny, he continued, "Ice-taco ice-sky taco-owl-owl; it is, too. It's code talking."
"Dude, what?" Max asked, sounding confused.
"Quick and dirty cryptology," James said nodding his head in bemused admiration. "Back in WWII, and other wars, the military dealt with the need for unbreakable but fast cryptology by turning to obscure native languages. The Marines used Navajos, the army used Choctaws. The British military used Welsh code talkers as recently as the Balkan Wars."
"Ah!" Max said, sounding delighted by this turn of events. "Like the movie, Windtalkers. I loved that flick. Ok, now that I know what I'm listening too..."
--You think it's going to matter if Mom catches us?--
--Mom doesn't speak Lupin.--
"Wait, wait wait," James said, interrupting the running translation. "Mom? Dad? These are what, kids?"
"Sounds like kids," Max said nodding his head.
"Like kids kids or just word that make it sound like kids?
"Kids, young ones," Max confirmed. "Or pups, rather. Old enough to have a good grasp on something like this, but not old enough to have started puppetry. And they are making the yips and growls with their human vocal cords. Makes sense, really. They'd need to be human to manipulate the walkies."
"Yeah," James agreed, nodding thoughtfully. "The question is, whose kids?"
"Ask the boss," Max replied.
"Two wolf pups arguing in code over walkies who have a wolf father but not a wolf mother?" Dante said over the cell phone a moment later. "That's easy. It's Loki and Thor."
"More properly, Coby and Bret McMahon," the boss continued with a dark chuckle. "They won't answer to those names, though."
"McMahon?" James said, shocked. "Those pain-in-the-butt ten-year-old twins?"
"Oh, yeah," Dante confirmed, his voice think with dark amusement despite the distortion of electronics and distance. "Never underestimate them, or any other McMahon, for that matter. Nick's a wily bastard, Mooney's a very good investigator, and those boys have the best traits of both of them.
"This is good," Dante continued. "Not only do we not have to worry that the recent activity has anything to do with my sire, he doesn't know that it has anything to do with us."