Sunday Nov 11th, 2004
0930 hours: Inverted water bottle with scallop inside inserted into tank
0950 hours: Water bottle secured to live rock with zip tie, due to strong current in tank
1030 hours: 3 nassarius snail captured, no sign of the fugitive
1130 hours: 03
actinics turn on, still no sign
1145 hours: Mantis spotted (regular as clockwork, he is a morning hunter it seems)
1150 hours: Mantis evades surveillance. Probable hiding rock removed to quarantine tank.
1235 hours: Routine algae scrubbing of display tank commenses. 3 clicks heard
1240 hours: 3 more clicks and another small live rock removed.
1241 hours: "Mantis spotted, I repeat, Mantis spotted, I have confirmed his whereabouts" is heard over the two-way.
1242 hours: Mantis hideout live rock removed and placed in "mantis extraction holding device" (Home Depot 5 gallon bucket).
1245 hours: Quick trip to supply station to restock (went to supermarket for seltzer water).
1340 hours: Backup called in over the two-way.
1345 hours: Agent 2 (codename: "The Wife"), abandons "Operation folding laundry" and joins in the search.
1346 hours: Sub-Operation "Fizzy Rock" commenses.
1347 hours: A lot of fizz, no sign of the mantis.
1348 hours: Agent 2 (the Wife) screams "I see him".
1349 hours: There he was, curled up in his hole looking like a recently disposed Iraqi dictator, stunned and in disbelief.
1350 hours: Agent 2 extracts the mantis with the newly approved 3 billion dollar "Mantis Eliminator 3000" (a pair of tweezers).
1351 hours: A maniacal laugh is heard emanating from somewhere, I suddenly realize it is me.
1355 hours: All live rock rinsed with saltwater and returned to main display tank.
1340 hours: Mantis moved from "mantis extraction holding device" to quarantine tank where he will be later interrogated as to the whereabouts of the missing tourists (peppermint shrimp).
Another successful mission...its time for this weary team to rest, until the next "click...click...click" is heard