Tuesday, 14 August 2018
Tuesday Tails Summer BlockBuster 2018 - The Clockwurk Labyrinth Chapters 1 ~ 3
this is going to be one crazy-insane rescue oppurration!!!
The Clockwurk Labyrinth
~ Chapter One ~
Fleabay Bargain Bonanza
It was a rather ordinary spring day in Mewton-Chirruping, the clouds were dull, in all shades of grey and looked like they were about to burst with rain in the not too distant future. Not a fine drizzle but huge, fat raindrops that mew can hear splashing as they bombard the ground with extreme prejudice.
I felt restless and sighed heavily as I began to amble towards the secret bunker entrance behind the summerhouse when I heard Fudge calling out.
“Basil wait up dude, I’m expecting a delivery can mew help me?”
“Fudge what have mew ordered from Fleabay now?” I asked cautiously, purraying to cod that it wasn’t another set of cheap throwing knives from some foreign clime claiming to be the quality of a Japanese samurai sword. The last ones he bought shattered on contact with the ground, though they did leave a lovely silver, glitter effect on the gravel drive.
“Dude mew’ll neffur believe the bargain I got,” he enthused, his ginormous floofy tail expanding [it does this when he gets excited]. “I was searching ancient armouries and weapons when up popped a clock in the Fleabay feed, it said it belonged to a long–distant descendant of King Rufus ruler of CatmanHU, and dude when I tell mew its epic, seriously it’s epic!”
I gave him a rather quizzical glance. “Catman-What and who the fluff is King Rufus?”
“Oh he was some despot tyrant, warrior King in the late middle ages, I Mewgled him,” Fudge beamed proudly. “He checks out fur sure dude, and I did the research and some distant cousin of a cousin, of an auntys, uncles, brothers sister owned it and she put it up fur sale and I bought it!”
Well my head began to swim at that statement so I just nodded and said. “Sounds great dude, I bet mew are purrleased!”
He gave me his most toothiest grin and nodded rather ecstatically. “Yeah, there was a lot of action but I stayed the course and outbid effuryone.”
“Good job, and where is it now?”
“Appurrently the courier is about half a click away, so can mew help me get it in the bunker?” he replied.
“Sure,” I answered looking up at the sky. “That courier needs to get his skates on as I think the heavens are going to open any minute.”
The sky had become ominously dark, and the air had an eerie tang I couldn’t quite put my paw on as thunder suddenly boomed in the distance.
Right at that moment I heard the gate bell ring and said. “Let’s get your clock dude, we’ve got moments before this vile storm rolls in.”
Fudge bounded to gates, opening them wide and a 1942 delivery truck reversed in. The driver looked almost mummified; his tan, leathery skin stretched taught across high cheek bones and sunken eyes as he emerged rather arthritically from the cab. He limped to the rear of the van, his peaked cap low and his drab brown uniform flapping in the wind that had suddenly begun to whip up. He opened the doors wide and that’s when I saw the clock.
Parsley emerged from the bunker just as the driver started to lower the tail-lift [which had obviously been added at a much later date, and the welding job of said tail-lift looked mightily haphazard] with biggest grandfather clock I’d effur seen. He tapped me on the shoulder. “Basil dude, what the fluff is that thing?”
“Don’t ask, Fudge bought it on Fleabay, some special clock from some far flung place!”
“It’s hideous!” Parsley whispered. “What on earth is he going to do with it?”
“Cod knows, but I’m telling mew this, restrict his access to the interwebs as he’s addicted to buying tat!” I said quietly.
“No purroblem,” Parsley said as the huge, ugly clock made it safely to ground level. I know this is really mean of me but I was hoping that it was going to topple off the somewhat dodgy tail-lift and end up as firewood.
“Isn’t it just beyond epic?” Fudge asked his huge tail quivering with excitement as he ran his paws over the highly carved case and stared adoringly at the ornate, painted clock face which seemed to change as the second-hand gently ticked round.
I gave him my most bemused look and said. “Dude wurds fail me!”
“Parsley what do mew think to my latest acquisition of military-esque memorabilia, this is going to be wurth a fortune one day!” Fudge enthused.
“How much did mew pay fur it?” Parsley asked.
“That’s the best bit, it was only £5.73 and free shipping,” he grinned. “BEST BUY EFFUR!”
I turned to the driver who was lurching toward the cab and said. “Hey don’t mew want a tip?”
The driver cackled as lightning forked across the sky in a blinding white flash. “Nah Mister, I’m just glad to be rid of that cursed thing!”
~ Chapter Two ~
Weird & Weirder
Smooch appeared; he was carrying a bazooka and looked really peeved. “Basil!” he said through gritted teeth. “I’m so sick of the slugs and snails attacking the vegetable garden, so I’m going to take care of them the only way I know how!”
I looked at the bazooka, then at Smooch and had to stifle a laugh. “Dude, mew so don’t want to blow up the P.A.’s veg garden,” I replied most earnestly. “I suggest we try another approach, let’s help Fudge get his latest acquisition into the bunker and then we’ll see if Humphrey left any notes in his lab on a more genteel way to rid the garden of those slimy, little veg annihilators.”
The one-cat-mission-of-destruction look faded from his eyes as he took in the huge clock which was towering above him, and he nearly dropped the bazooka as he said. “What the fluff is that monstr….”
“Smooch dude, so glad mew’re here, what do mew think to my pawesome clock?” Fudge asked excitedly.
Smooch who was rarely lost fur wurds, flapped his paws in the air, occasionally pointing towards the clock with a befuddled expression plastered on his face. “It’s… er… it’s… ummmm… it’s… er….”
“I just knew mew guys would love it and isn’t it going to look spectacular in the control room,” Fudge babbled enthusiastically. “A piece of genuine military history in the midst of all our high-tech, it’s going to look so great!”
I was just about to protest when the furst, fat raindrop splashed on the ground. “Time to get moving!” I said as more raindrops began to fall.
We’d just reached the bunker door as the rain started to assault the ground with much hostility and malevolence, bright-white lightning streaked across the black, rolling clouds and thunder boomed so loud that the ground shook beneath our paws.
“Oh dear,” Parsley mused. “Somepurrdy upset the gods today!”
We hefted the clock inside, Fudge went to get the sack trolley. “What on earth is this thing?” Smooch asked once Fudge was out of ear-shot.
“Dude, I don’t know,” I answered honestly. “But I will say this; it’s the most ugly, vile thing I’ve effur seen and right now all I want to do with it is put it in the Bomb Disposal room, with a live bomb and blow it to kingdom come!”
The storm was now directly above the bunker, it had taken mere minutes to reach us and the lightning seemed to be increasing and the thunder was so loud I could hardly hear myself think. “Parsley close the external doors,” I shouted above the din.
I watched as Parsley hit the red button and the metal bunker doors slid shut. With the forces of nature now firmly outside, I took a breath and said. “This is so not going into the control room, idea’s anyone, right now would be great!”
“We could tell Fudge that we’re about to decorate and think the clock should go into BD1 [Bomb-Disposal Room 1] as we’d hate to get any paint on it,” Parsley said quickly.
“Oh nice idea,” I replied. “Anypurrdy got a paint card.”
Don’t ask me how he does it, but like magic Parsley held out a colour chart in all shades of steely grey or blue. “Dude, mew’ve got some epic skillz!” I said.
He just grinned and laughed. “I know!”
Fudge returned moments later trundling the trolley in front of him. We hefted the unholy relic onto it and just as he was about to speak I cut him off. “Fudge dude, we aren’t going to be able to put your really ummmm… amazing acquisition in the control room just yet,” I said firmly and waved the paint card in his direction.
His face fell, the utter dejection most apparent. So I quickly added, wafting the paint card more vehemently. “I was on my way to see Parsley when mew saw me, as I’d decided we need to freshen up the control room with a lick of paint, so we don’t want your purchase getting paint splattered do we?”
It took a few seconds to register, and aftur his mental sunrise had finally broken through to dawn, he replied. “Oh no, we definitely can’t get paint on it, it’ll be devalued and worthless fur sure!” he said most seriously. “Good thing mew told me now as I’d hate to keep moving it around, it might get damaged, or even wurse!”
I really liked the even wurse part and said. “Dude let’s just put it in Bomb Disposal Room 1 fur now, it’ll be purrfectly safe in there and we can lock the door so it won’t get damaged while we do our renovations.”
At this point all I was thinking about getting a little bit [well a lot actually] of C4 with a remote detonator and placing it inside the room with the clock, and IT having a rather unfortunate accident. I was trying really hard not to smirk when Smooch nudged me and whispered.
“Dude I know exactly what mew’re thinking and I’ll go get it arranged!” We paw-bumped and he disappeared down the corridor and out of sight.
Parsley, Fudge and myself paw-handled the clock into BD1 and once Fudge was satisfied it was safe and not wobbling on the metal floor, we left the room and shut the doors.
“Nothing will happen to it in there will it Basil?” Fudge asked.
“Dude mew know its purrfectly safe now, so let’s find Amber and Pandora and decide what lovely new and exciting shade of grey we’re painting this place.”
~ Chapter Three ~
CJ and The Set-Up
Later that evening the storm was still raging, and more violently than before. It was like a tempest of doom and seemed to be located right above our sleepy, little village without any inclination of moving away anytime soon.
Amber was looking rather bored. “Basil how am I supposed to get to my library, the courtyard is flooded and the rain doesn’t look like it’s going to be stopping, like at all?”
“Amber I don’t know!” I replied. “We’re all trapped in here until it starts to subside, so let’s choose a paint colour and start a bit of prep.”
Pandora harrumphed loudly. “I never agreed to ‘elp mew paint!” she said in her odd, little foreign accent. “I can’t be getting myself involved vith such things, my fur vill be ruined, I only agreed to give mew colour advice!”
I sighed as tensions rose. “Pandora, vh… what colour do mew think we should have?”
She gave the colour card a cursory glance and jabbed her claw into the third row, three up from the bottom. “Hurricane Grey,” she said flatly. “That is the one that vill compliment the bunker.”
Say what???? I thought. This is just getting too bizarre.
“OK votes on the Hurricane Grey?” I asked wundering if my day was going to get any weirder.
“Basil,” Amber interjected. “That’s the exact same colour which we have already.”
“Great news,” I tried to smile. “Less prep wurk fur effuryone then!”
The B Team started to grumble and moan, so I said. “Guys chop chop, get to it and I just need to go make a call.”
As I headed towards my private office I could hear a squabble about to break out but to be absolutely honest I thought, they’re old enough to sort it out themselves and I just kept walking.
Closing the door behind me, I went and sat at my desk and turned on my PC and began to research the clock on Mewgle. Something just wasn’t sitting right, it felt all kinds of wrong and when I’d actually touched the wood it had felt charged with power of some sort, just a gentle hum under the surface, like static and it was really bothering me.
I lucked out on Mewgle, finding nothing about the clock or the infamous King Rufus either. Things were getting curiouser and curiouser. I paced the floor fur several minutes as I pondered the possibilities and finally I picked up the receiver on my secret FIB phone, direct to CJ Catkin, the Director or head honcho of the Field Intelligence Bureau. Pushing line one, I heard the dial tone and punched in my code.
“CJ Catkin,” said a voice before the phone had even made a single ring-tone.
“CJ, this is Basil,” I answered. “Code name Zulu Brava Delta Six.”
“Basil!” CJ replied much more genially. “Long time, no speak!”
“Just the way I like it, no offence intended but mew know how I like my retirement!” I quipped.
“I do indeed,” CJ sighed. “So what can I do fur mew on this rather vile and incessantly stormy night?”
I began to relay the story of the clock and my feelings of apprehension. “Mew remember that artefact I recovered from the Giza Plateau in 2002, with the serpent head?”
CJ said. “Yes.” But his tone had changed, it was wary with a tinge of unease.
“The clock has the same slick magnetism feel to it,” I said as I flicked on my tv screen and selected the live camera feed for effurywhere in the bunker. The multiple-screen view flipped effury few seconds until finally BD1 was in the frame. I pressed the lock button so the feed remained and that’s when I saw it. My hackles rose and my whiskers nearly ejected from my face as I watched the screen.
* * *
In the control room things were heating up. “I’m not painting!” Pandora declared.
Smooch who was holding a paint brush loaded with Hurricane Grey said. “Dora I’m only going to say this once, pick up the brush and start painting.”
“Pah!” Pandora replied and flounced out of the room, her plume-esque tail swishing side to side in irritation.
“I swear I’m going to…” Smooch began and then stopped as the comms system came online.
“Guys this is Basil, where’s Fudge?”
Amber, Smooch and Parsley peered around the room. “Not here,” Parsley replied aftur he’d lifted the dust-sheet off the comms control panel. “I sent him for more dust-sheets about 2o minutes ago. Why?”
Pandora, who was only just outside the control room, peered around the doorframe and said. “He told me that he vas going to check on his new purchase.”
“Find him, and find him now!” my voice sounded through the speakers.
In less time than it took to say, ‘make mine a niptini, shaken not stirred with a huge sprig of nip’ all the dust-sheets were removed and Amber was sitting at the comms desk while Parsley was firing up all the internal camera feeds to the multiple screens around the circular control room.
Smooch was already implementing the thermal scanning facility and said aftur a few moments. “Horice is on level 8 having a really chillaxed evening as usual and there are no other life signs outside of the control room apart from yours Basil!”
“This is so bad!” Basil said irately. “Keep looking, I’ve got CJ on the phone, go to BD1 and I’ll meet mew there stat!”
“CJ, this clock is bad news dude, now I know mew know something so spill!” I growled.
The line was silent, and fur a moment I thought the big cheese had hung up on me, but then I heard the sigh. THE SIGH, yes that one, when he knows that I know that he knows, and now he has to tell me.
“Basil,” he cleared his throat, a typical buying time gaff. “That clock…”
“Yes, what about that clock?” I asked barely containing my annoyance. In fact I didn’t bother to let him continue. “Mew set it up fur Fudge to buy didn’t mew? Then mew put all that bogus info on Mewgle fur him to find. Then mew were the one probably bidding against him, weren’t mew?”
I heard CJ cough and splutter. So I continued. “Mew set up my youngest team memfur to buy something that’s obviously so dangerous and deadly that mew don’t even want it at the FIB HQ, but mew think its ok to send here knowing all of that and putting Mewton-Clawson in grave danger…” then the penny dropped. “And the storm that’s been raging offurhead fur hours is directly linked to the clock isn’t it? OH MY COD CJ, how low have mew sunk?”
He tried to speak but I cut him off. “Listen to me and listen good, send me effury single scrap of info mew have about that clock and send it to me now, Fudge is missing and if anything happens to him, even if it’s only a whisker that’s bent out of shape, I’m coming fur mew dude!”
OH MY COD!
See mew same time, same place next week fur the next thrilling chapters
The Clockwurk Labyrinth
commander Basil and the b team