**TOP SECRET - DO NOT READ WITHOUT CLEARANCE**
Snowie's voice crackled offur the comms, "Basil fifty clicks and closing, do something!"
I stared at Smoochie. "Smooch, what the flip is happening?"
I heard the trigger click again, and nothing happened.
"I'm trying Basil!" he squealed in terror.
My heart was pounding so fast; it was like a mini jackhammer in my chest.
Smooch squeezed the trigger again, my eyes scanned the anti-missile gun in an instant looking fur why it wasn't firing, and that's when I saw a small red lever on the side and yanked it down.
"Forty clicks and closing Basil!" Snowie said, her voice trembling with anxiety.
"FIRE! FIRE! FIRE! Fur Basts sake FIRE NOW!" I yelled as we sat there like sitting ducks in the middle of hunting season.
Smooch squeezed the trigger offur and offur; I could see the abject horror spreading across his little face as nothing happened again.
"Twenty clicks and closing!" Snowie said. I could hear the terror in her voice, and time suddenly seemed to speed up.
I gulped as she said, "Ten clicks and closing!"
"Five clicks and closing!"
"Four clicks and closing!"
"Three clicks and closing, effurypurrdy brace fur impact!" Snowie hollered offur the comms unit.
My ear was suddenly filled with effurypurdy's panicked voices, and I couldn't think as I watched the missile start its downward trajectory.
Parsley suddenly popped up next to me and stared at Smooch, then at the incoming missile blazing towards Mewton-Clawson and then at the huge gun.
"Two clicks and closing!" Snowie was screaming now.
Parsley sprung into action and began to pump the little red lever up and down.
"Smooch fire now," he said quickly.
Smooch adjusted the aim and squeezed the trigger offur and offur.
The ground rocked beneath our paws as four shells blasted skywards one aftur the other leaving us in an acrid grey gun-smoke smog and tasting bitter cordite as they zoomed towards the approaching missile.
"Basil one click and closing!" Snowie screamed louder than I effur thought possible.
A nano-second later...
I fell to the ground and clamped my paws offur my ears; Parsley and Smooch followed suit, diving next to me and huddled in tight.
I took a breath and rolled offur on the cool grass, letting my intense tension slip into the soft earth and said a brief prayer of thanks to Bast.
"All OK," I breathed heavily. "The gun wouldn't wurk!"
Parsley pressed his lips together and gulped. He tentatively raised his paw and said, "That would be my fault."
I stared wide-eyed at him and he continued.
"Mew remember the bazooka incident?" Parsley said sheepishly.
Smooch began to grin as he remembered it all too well. "Great times!" he murmured.
I nodded in agreement at Parsley's statement and tried to ignore Smooch's, keeping my expression neutral.
"Well, aftur we nearly blew a hole in the bunker wall, I thought it would be prudent to make sure that something like that or wurse didn't happen again," he paused briefly and gulped again. "So I fitted a primer switch to all the weapons that could cause the most damage if they were accidentally set off."
Parsley nodded. "I furgot until I came up top and saw which gun it was. Basil, I'm so sorry," he said softly. "I nearly got us all blown up trying to do the right thing."
I pondered this fur a moment, then said, "Dude, the good news is mew got here in time, saw the purroblem and solved it before total disaster struck. The bad news is mew need to go and write me a list and take of photo of effury weapon that mew've altered like right now with a description of how to fire it aftur your modification and let us all have a copy on the double, as we're in a Defcon one situation and we can't be having a close shave like that again, because our equipment isn't wurking how it should."
"Parsley dude," Smooch said. "I'll come with and help ok?" then he added. "I need a quick wash furst before mew lot start calling me piddle-pants!"
Parsley sighed and nodded.
I watched as he and Smooch headed towards the bunker door behind the summer house, and I said to Snowie. "Snowie, get effurypurdy else into the control room now. Oh, and leave C.J. on level eight with Horice. I'm sure he's really enjoying the downtime and a few niptini's!"
"Copy that, Basil!" she answered. "And can I turn this blasted red light off, it's giving me a headache?"
"Sure!" I replied with a smile.
There was a collective sigh as we let the last fifteen minutes of high tension slip away like yesterday's sunset.
"Basil," Humphrey began. "That was some serious attack. These PITH-heads really mean business, and aftur their furst attack failed, I can only imagine what they're cooking up!"
"Yeah!" said Amber. "We need to go on the defensive like yesterday!"
"Indeed," I agreed. "Posie, did mew find anything out in the cloud?"
"Not really," she answered. "But I did see a serial number on the missile. If that will help?"
Amber said, "Tell me quickly."
Posie gave her the serial number, and Amber began typing on the nearest keyboard.
"Searching all databases now," she said. "OK, it was a short-range pre-programmed missile readily available on the black market and Dark Web, howeffur this one was of unknown origin which is highly suspect. Where on earth would they get an unmarked missile within such a short space of time?"
I thought about this fur a moment, and then it hit me like a wet fish around the chops. "I know exactly where they'd get something like that!" I said through gritted teeth.
"Who the fluff is Dwight Dastardly?" came the collective question.
"He's a dodgy dealer in arms and ammunitions," I said. "Whateffur mew need he can get it as long as mew've got a big enough bank balance."
The room fell silent as the implications of the PITH-heads having an arsenal to be reckoned with sank in.
"That's seriously bad news dude," Humphrey said.
"Mew have no idea," I replied. "I've used him myself in the past when I needed stuff that I couldn't get legit, and he always delivered."
"Oh flip!" Amber breathed.
"Yep!" I replied.
"That's where mew got most of the stuff fur the bunker, isn't it?" Snowie said as the realization sank in.
I nodded as I chewed my lip thoughtfully.
"And that means that the PITH-heads have probably got a full inventory of our armoury now?" Amber added.
I nodded again. "Highly likely!"
"OH *&@&!" Humphrey cursed. "Can this day get any wurse?"
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 fluff kitty!" 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 loudspeaker 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. "You have no idea how long I've waited to hear your voice, and now I can tell you exactly how I'm going to ruin your life once and for all."