Snowie's voice crackled over the comms, "Basil fifty clicks and closing, do something!"
I stared at Smoochie. "Smooch what the fluff 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 and felt like a mini jackhammer trying to burst out of my chest.
Smooch squeezed the trigger again, my eyes scanned the anti-missile gun in an instant looking for 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! For Bast's sake FIRE NOW!" I yelled as we sat there like sitting ducks in the middle of hunting season.
Smooch squeezed the trigger over and over, 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, everypawdy brace for impact!" Snowie hollered over the comms unit.
My ear was suddenly filled with everypawdy'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 screamed.
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 over and over.
The ground rocked beneath our paws as four shells blasted skywards one after 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 ever thought possible.
A nano-second later...
I fell to the ground and clamped my paws over my ears, Parsley and Smooch followed suit diving next to me and we huddled in a tight, furry ball.
I took a breath and rolled over 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 worse 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 accidentally set off."
Parsley nodded. "I forgot 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 for a moment, then said, "Dude, the good news is mew got here in time, saw the problem 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 every weapon that mew've altered like right now with a description of how to fire it after 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 working how it should."
"Parsley dude," Smooch said. "I'll come with and help ok?" then he added. "I need a quick wash first 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.
"Basil," Humphrey began. "That was some serious attack, these PITH-heads really mean business and after their first 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, however 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 for 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. "Whatever mew want, 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 his services 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 for the bunker isn't it?" Snowie said as the realization sank in.
"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 worse?"
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 me 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 fluff 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. "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 for all."