Just then the bunkers private telephone began to ring. Snowie jumped off the chair and headed to the comms station.
"Welcome to the Cats Whiskers Holistic Health Retreat, this is Suki how may I help mew?" Snowie said sweetly.
"Cut the crap!" a voice growled through the speaker. "And get me Basil Widdairs right now otherwise mew'll be getting another surprise!"
"Let mew put mew on hold just one second while I redirect your call," Snowie continued in her sweetest tone.
She pushed a button and put the PITH-head on hold before saying, "What the flip do we do now? Those maggots have even got our private unlisted number!"
I didn't have time to stall, so I said. "Start the trace and put him on the loud speaker now!"
Snowie pushed the trace button and released the hold button.
"This is Basil Widdairs," I said. "What do mew want?"
A malevolent laugh rang out. "Mew have no idea how long I've waited to hear your voice and now I can tell mew exactly how I'm going to ruin your life once and fur all."
"I'm wurking on that part," Humphrey replied. "But I've got to go off-road now and into the forest."
"Copy that Purredator One, offur and out," Snowie answered and then turned to me. "Is it really such a good idea that Humphrey's gone off the reservation on his own?"
"Mew know Humphrey, once he gets into the zone who knows what may happen," I answered thoughtfully. "Look he's not going engage eight loony PITH-heads, who are actually nuttier than a forest full of squirrels..." I thought about this some more. "But then again, he was watching the Purredator movies again last night, so him going full on off the reservation is a high possibility right now. Just keep an eye on him ok?"
He lunged forward trying to snatch the walnut from Gnosher.
"Awwwwww Ace that was my last nut until we get back to base!" Gnosher moaned as Ace jumped up the nearest tree with the big juicy nut.
"Where's the team?" Gnosher asked.
Ace scanned the trees and then pointed skywards. "Up top, let's go."
"Purredator One, this is Control do mew copy?"
"Affurmative Control," Humphrey said softly.
"What's the good news?" I asked.
"Control, the PITH have no idea we're still tracking them," Humphrey whispered. "I've moved closer to the forest, live streaming is not possible at this time but I'll keep mew posted, offur and out."
"Control out," Snowie answered just as the control room screens went dark.
"Snowie," I said. "Humphrey seems to have the surveillance mission under control, so I'm going to take a little road trip to see our old furriend Dwight Dastardly, are mew OK here?" I asked.
Snowie nodded. "All ok and Amber's here, so I have back up."
"Good, well I'll be a few hours, but any purroblem let me know," I said heading out of the control room. "I'll be on the long range comms unit, channel eight if mew need me."
I'd just stepped into the corridor when Smoochie and Parsley bounded up to me.
"Basil we have the list!" Smoochie said waving a piece of paper at me.
"Give it to Amber so she can purruse it ok?" I replied.
"Where are mew going?" Parsley asked.
"I'm going to see my pal Dwight Dastardly."
"Who?" Smooch asked as he dashed into the control room and back out again shouting instructions to Amber.
Then I remembered they weren't in on that part of the conversation, so I filled them in as we walked towards the elevator.
We descended to level four and the elevator doors pinged open. I scanned the huge garage and decided what wheels to take.
"Can we come Basil?" Smooch asked.
"Yes, can we come Basil?" Parsley asked.
In that moment I knew there was no way I was going on this mission alone.
"OK," I said. "But don't touch anything when we get there and don't say anything either, just let me do all the talking!"
"Sure, absolutely, no touching and defo no talking!" Smooch grinned and winked at Parsley.
"Scouts honour!" Parsley concurred raising his paw.
I sighed inwardly and reached fur a set of keys from the key cabinet.
"We'll take that one," I said heading towards one of my favourite vehicles.
"Yeah!" Smooch whooped and paw-bumped Parsley.
"Dude," Parsley beamed as we got into the hummer. "This vehicle is rad!"
I smirked and replied. "I know!"
We drove in silence most of the way to Dwight Dastardly's compound. Smooch and Parsley seemed transfixed with all the other motorists staring at us as we motored along, I mean mew'd think that peeps had neffur seen three cats driving a hummer before.
"Basil," Smooch finally said. "Do mew actually have a driving license?"
"Oh sure," I answered waving my paw dismissively smiling inwardly as I thought how much the license had cost me. "And I've got fully comp insurance too, mew have no idea how hard that was to get."
"I can imagine," Smooch murmured.
"How long till we get there?" Parsley asked as he began to fidget in his seat.
"Round the next corner," I laughed.
"Really?" Parsley said.
"Yes really," I replied as we turned on to a single track lane. "It's only a few miles down here."
"Thank Bast fur that," Parsley said. "I'm nearly piddling myself."
Smooch began to chuckle. "Looks like I'm not the only piddle-pants today!"
"Ha ha ha!" Parsley grumbled, then added. "But I haven't actually pee'd myself yet."
"Children, stop it!" I ordered as we drove through the solid metal gates into the compound.
It was surrounded on three sides by dense woodland and if mew looked at it from an aerial view there was nothing fur miles around, it was the purrfect location fur a dodgy dealer in arms and ammunitions. The chain-link fence topped with three rows of razor-wire encompassed the huge compound and at its centre was a shed the size of an aircraft hanger. Rows and rows of all models of military vehicles were lined up by type and Smooch gasped as he saw all the toys he been dreaming of furrever in the flesh.
"Basil..." he began.
"NO," I answered.
"But..." he tried again.
"Awwwwww, mew're no fun!" he mumbled.
"I told mew both, no touching and no talking," I reminded them as I parked up in front of the hanger. "Stay in the hummer and don't move." Then I added. "Parsley out, go piddle and get back in."
Parsley grinned as he clambered offur Smooch and fell out of the door and raced behind the hummer.
I wandered into the hanger and headed towards the office through a myriad of artillery weapons and smaller military vehicles. The smell of diesel, petrol, engine oil and gun oil filled my nostrils and I inhaled the aroma's and grinned like a cat in a catnip factory, I loved this place. Heading along a row of second world war wyllis jeeps I rounded the corner and admired a new batch of Alvis FV603 Saracens, making a mental note to get one asap.
"Dwight!" I called out as I approached the old converted shipping container aka office. "Dwight where are mew? It's me Basil!"
I stood listening, but heard nothing. I poked my head through the door that had been cut into the side of the container but it was empty inside and a lot messier than usual.
"That's strange," I muttered and began to walk around the inside of the hanger admiring all the new tech, weapons and downright delicious ex-MOD goods that were on offur. I called out again as it seemed just too quiet, usually there were four or five yard-dudes wurking on the vehicles or doing whateffur arms dealers usually do... nuff said.
There was a metallic crash behind me and I spun around to see Smooch and Parsley purrtending they didn't just knock a pile of AK47's on the floor. The pair of them stared at the ceiling whistling the tune from the Great Escape and looked at anything but me.
Smooch suddenly pointed up into the gloomy rafters and opened his mouth.
"Shhhhhh!" I snapped. "What did I tell mew both, no touching and no talking!"
Parsley began to jab his paw towards the ceiling, Smooch followed suit.
"Oh fur all that is merciful, give me strength," I muttered and just as I was about to look up my comms unit buzzed. I tapped the headset. "Basil here."
I could hear Snowie's voice on the crackly line. "Basil, we have a situation," she began.
"Go ahead," I replied turning my back on the two heathens.
"A package has just been delivered and it's ticking," she said her voice filled with dread.
"Recall Humphrey immediately and get the package into the bomb detonation room asap," I sighed heavily calculating how long it would take us to get back. "Wheel it in on the trolley and try not to shake it. Do not do anything else till I get back, ok?"
"Copy that, offur and out!" Snowie replied.
I turned around to see Smooch and Parsley still silently staring into the rafters, waving their paws around madly.
"Can this day get any more bizarre?" I muttered under my breath as I peered up towards the ceiling. It took a moment fur my eyes to adjust to the gloom and then I realized what I was looking at.
"Jumping jeepers and smoke me a kipper!" I choked out not quite believing what I was seeing.
My comms unit buzzed again. "Basil, Humphrey's gone AWOL!" Snowie said ugrgently.
"OH HECK!" I answered.
[Copyright: Hummer Image StockPhotosLV & ATV image Mikbiz used under license from Shutterstock.com]