Then a few seconds later Astrid came online and began to countdown.
I got an affirmative from them and then turned my attention to Amber and Pandora.
Astrid was still counting down, and we were at T-Minus 40 seconds.
"Amber do whateffur mew need to do to get this contraption running, Pandora see if mew can't by-pass the nav system by rerouting it through the back-up power circuits and rebooting the system!"
Bob tugged my paw urgently and said. "Basil maybe I can help!"
I glanced down at the little fuzzy pink dude and was just about to speak when Snowie said. "Basil it's the Eveeel One and he's sent some hardcore Bounty Hunters aftur us!"
* * *
"Can we purrlease get out of here?" I said urgently as Bob carefully replaced the cube back into his rucksack.
"The mercs are about to breach the force-field Basil!" Snowie said trying to keep her hysteria levels down.
All at once the TTTB roared into life and we vanished from the Nether-Void.
Neffur in my life was I so relieved to hear the familiar sound of teleporting through time and space.
"Pandora, where are we headed to?"
"Rome," she answered.
"Humphrey, it's all in your paws!" I said into my comms unit. Then I turned to Bob and said. "That was pawesome little dude, how did mew do it?"
Bobs eyes gleamed and he replied, "Magic Basil, magic!"
* * *
Smooch was really, really piddled off big time upon finding the purrpatrator and ran straight at RMD #1 full pelt screaming his most insane war-cry and knocked it offur, and then pointing his rocket launcher almost up its tin nose. "Don't make a move droid or mew're just gonna be a pile nuts and bolts!" he spat icily, his paw itching to pull the trigger.
"Yeah droid, mew'll be spare parts!" Parsley sneered. "Now where's the rest of our weapons and ammo?"
* * *
Fudge was breathing hard, his eyes were the size of saucers as he watched Humphrey and purrayed fur a miracle.
Humphrey's paws were trembling, his fur was clammy with sweat as he joined the last two wires together while Astrid continued to count down, and we were at T-Minus 1 second.
The furry last thing Astrid said was, "Zero!" And she went off-line.
"I need weapons now!" I yelled. "Where's Parsley and Smooch?"
Snowie hit the comms button. "Parsley, Smooch, where are mew, Humphrey and Fudge are in trouble?"
"We've caught RMD #1 red-pawed with a trolley fully of our inventory!" Parsley answered. "The weapons thief!"
"What?" I shouted. "Those pesky droids stole our stash?"
"Yep and Smooch has got a rocket launcher pointed at it and wants to send it to scrap-heap heaven!" Parsley snarled angrily.
"Disable it anyway mew want," I growled. "And I need weapons ASAP, meet me on level one."
"Amber mew have the bridge, Snowie track Humphrey and Fudge and do not let anyone teleport off this rig, jam all signals now!" I yelled as I ran off the bridge with Bob hot on my heels.
We were on level one in a jiffy and almost collided with Parsley and Smooch, who were armed to the teeth. Smooch tossed me two Glocks and several spare clips. Bob said, "Basil I can help."
I nodded and said. "Parsley give him the H&K, Bob do mew know how to use it?"
The little pink dude took the weapon, his paws running offur it instinctively and he nodded. "Good now stay behind me as we have to deal with some purretty nasty mercs."
We ran silently along the corridor towards the last known location of Humphrey and Fudge and found them bound and gagged.
There were three mercs that we could see from our hidden position. I hit my comms unit and said furry quietly. "Snowie give me stats, we have a visual on three mercs, are there anymore aboard?"
"Scanning now Basil," she answered and then said. "No, only three made it, there were seven but four are still free-floating in the Nether-Void."
I signalled to Parsley and Smooch who moved in stealth. Parsley went full Purredator mode and seemed to vanish, blending in completely like a chameleon with the decor. He crept silently around the mercs until he was behind them and then I stepped out in full view.
Staring at the three fat, ugly space-hogs I growled. "Surrender scum!"
Before I could blink they had their weapons aimed directly at me and began to laugh.
Smooch was at my side with Bob at my back. I raised an eyebrow and stepped closer. "So are mew surrendering or what?"
"So this is the Great Basil," one snorted derisively.
He was obviously in charge as the other two just giggled like buffoons.
"I am Basil," I said icily stepping closer still. Smooch had his rocket launcher aimed right at them.
They laughed again and I said, "I don't see what's so funny but I do see three fat little piggies or should I say a trifecta of tubby porkers!"
They stopped laughing, the two underlings grunted angrily and aimed their weapons at Fudge and Humphrey as their leader snarled. "This is going to be the easiest bounty we've ever earned."
"Are mew surrendering or what, as we don't have time fur this nonsense?" I said flatly. "So mew can either do it the easy way or the hard way, take your pick. I suggest option one, the easy way."
The leader was really agitated and began to jab his weapon in my direction. "I'm so going to love shooting mew!"
And right at that moment Parsley went ballistic. It was a sight to behold, the squealing was horrific and 30 seconds later the mercs were on the floor surrounded with more firepower aimed at them than mew could imagine. Even Bob was on the front row, his H&K resting on the leaders snout and he said in a tone that even made me shiver. "Go ahead punk, make my day!"
"Mew should have opted fur option one," I grinned savagely as they lay bleeding on the floor. "Strip them down, tie them up and throw them in the brig."
I untied Fudge and Humphrey helping them to their paws. "Are mew guys ok?"
They nodded and Fudge who was royally peeved walked up to their leader and clocked him on the snout with the butt of his gun. "That's fur knocking me out fatty!" he spat.
"Nice move Fudge," I said as we dragged the porkers down the corridor.
A few minutes later they were incarcerated in the brig and put into stasis until we decided what to do with them. "Righty ho then," I said in a rather chipper voice. "Who wants to see Rome? Parsley don't furget the camera drone!"
I saw a show of raised paws and laughed. "Guys we're back in control and need to make up some time, so let's get to it."
Posie suddenly materialized and said. "Hiya guys, did I miss anything, I was stuck in the matrix and couldn't get free!"
We all burst out laughing and told her of our ordeal.
A few minutes later we were piling out of the door of the TTTB and breathing in the sweet aroma of Rome.
"Come on effurypurrdy, get in to position," Parsley yelled as the camera drone hovered above the Trevi Fountain, and so the Bucket List continued in full earnest.
* * *
Several destinations later and back on the bridge I plonked down in my chair, smooshing my derriere in the squeaky pleather and picked up the bucket list and began to cross off our recent destinations. I chuckled as I thought of how I finally purrsuaded Bob to join us from the Camel Racing in Khartoum onwards and what a great time we had.
'That was a really great few hours,' I thought happily.
"Basil," Fudge said as he sidled up to me.
"Yeah what's up dude?" I replied smiling.
"How would mew feel if I said, we've got an uninvited hitch-hiker on-board?" Fudge grimaced.