Deep in the forest Humphrey had cut comms and gone full Purredator-mode, tracking the P.I.T.H. in total stealth.
High in the tree canopy he spied the heavily armed pawty of five slowly making their way towards Mewton-Clawson.
"Flipping fluffing' freakin' freak!" he muttered angrily to himself as he checked his own weapons. "One Uzi and five spare clips, check. One machete, check. One Glock plus spare clips, check... damn it, I don't have enough weapons!"
He took a deep breath as he leapt into the branches of a rather dense fir tree.
"Shhhhhhh," said one of the P.I.T.H. suddenly. "What was that sound?"
All five squirrels stopped dead in their tracks and began to scan the foliage.
Humphrey stayed motionless and inwardly cursed the over-flexible and rather creaky branch he'd landed on.
"Scooter, canopy scan stat!" said the fat squirrel wearing the camo-scarf.
"On it Snitch," Scooter replied and then added. "Gimme a leg up Ace, I can't seem to get any purchase!"
Ace shoved him up the nearest tree as Snitch said. "Bazooka Brothers, take left and right. If mew see any of those pussy's let 'em have a taste of terror, copy?"
The two helmeted squirrels nodded and scampered off in different directions.
Humphrey held his breath as Scooter quickly ascended the tree right next to his.
'This is going to get real messy, real fast,' he thought, as he held his breath and waited for the inevitable.
* * *
Snowie was watching the monitors closely.
"Amber come in," she said.
"I'm here," Amber replied.
"What's happening up top?" Snowie asked.
"All quiet on the western front," Amber said. "C.J.'s took the chopper, he's gone to find Basil."
"What?" Snowie cried in shock.
"C.J.'s taking the chopper to Basil, he says he can be at his local in five minutes-ish."
"What's he flying, a rocket?" Snowie almost laughed.
"Appurrently the F.I.B. have tech they don't want to discuss, he said and I repeat, I can be with Basil in five minutes-ish," Amber replied.
"So who the fluff is up there with mew?" Snowie asked her voice full of concern.
"Oh I'm ok, Horice has got his magick-ju-ju thingumabob on standby, Posie is in the cloud and I've got more weapons than mew could poke a stick at, plus I've activated the newly installed invisible perimeter fence and armed it, so anypawdy thinking they're just going to waltz in here is going to get the shock of their lives, quite literally," she laughed loudly. "Like 50,000 volts of shock!"
Snowie paused before she said. "And when did this perimeter fence get installed?"
"Oh," Amber said, suddenly remembering that she'd forgotten to tell Snowie about it. "I finished the install last week and this is the perfect opportunity to test it with real live hostiles, how pawesome is that and so lucky too."
"And WHOM else knows about this latest install?" Snowie asked tersely.
"Ummmmmm.... me, Basil, Humphrey...." Amber took a breath. "Ummmmm, actually we all know."
"And when were mew going to tell me?" Snowie growled.
"Ummmmmm....." Amber began and then said. "SURPRISE we've got a new invisible high voltage perimeter fence that is rather lethal... muwhahahahahahahahaaaa!"
Snowie shook her head in dismay. "Thanks for letting me know and talking of keeping the TEAM in the loop, I'd better tell Basil C.J. is on his way and to find a field asap."
* * *
I raced along a narrow country lane trying to save some time by driving in a more direct route.
Parsley suddenly said. "Basil this road is a dead end."
Smooch looked at the Sat-Nav and concurred. "Yeah, Basil there's no road dude, only forest ahead."
I turned and looked at them. "Guys, do mew think I don't know what I'm doing or where I'm going?" I asked pushing the accelerator hard to the floor and the engine roared. "We don't have time to be pussy-footing around mew know."
"Looooooooooook ouuuuuuuuuuuuut!" Parsley and Smooch suddenly screamed at the same time.
I turned my attention back to the road and there were three big concrete blocks dead ahead blocking the route into the forest.
"Oh shoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooot!" I yelled and spun the steering wheel hard left, the hummer glanced off one of the concrete blocks and we shot forward, almost catapulted into the forest.
My heart was beating like a jackhammer in my chest and working its way up to my throat as Parsley and Smooch screamed like girls. The abrupt surge of adrenaline pumped through my veins and all of a sudden I felt alive, let me say that again, I FELT ALIVE!
The hummer bounced several times and nearly rolled offur, but I turned the steering wheel hard and the wheels hit the ground spinning, we skidded and swerved as the tyres tried to find a grip on the damp claggy earth. I eased off the accelerator, letting the revs down as we continued to skid for a few yards until the tyres gripped the ground and shot us forward on the rough terrain gaining speed again.
I was grinning like a mad cat as I turned and looked at Parsley and Smooch.
"WOOOOOO HOOOOOOOO that was totally INSANE!" I grinned wildly and then added. "Alright dudes?"
They looked at me and then whooped too. "Yeah that was so pawesome!" Parsley said grinning. "Though I thought or one second we were like totally toast dude."
"Yeah that was epic Basil!" Smooch added, lifting his bum off the seat a little then adding. "By the way are these seats waterproof and washable?"
Parsley slowly looked down and edged towards me.
I shook my head. "Dude there's no room here."
Parsley grimaced and slapped Smooch. "Mew need a nappy dude, your bladder has issues."
"I can't help it..." Smooch answered indignantly. "If I have a highly sensitive and excitable bladder!!"
I pulled a towel from under my seat and handed it to Parsley. "Dude Smooch can't help it, like he says his bladder is a little over-excitable, and to be honest I think my seat is a little damp too."
At that moment my comms unit crackled to life. "Basil this is Control can mew hear me?" Snowie asked.
"Go ahead Control," I answered.
"C.J. is on a direct route to mew in his chopper, can mew find an open space asap as he will be with mew in about five minutes?" Snowie said.
I turned to Parsley and Smooch relaying the message as we bounced and bumped over the increasingly rugged terrain, as I swerved this way and that to miss the trees.
"On it!" they both replied.
"Basil, just how does C.J. know exactly where mew are?" Snowie asked.
I paused and then said. "I have a tracking device implanted, he must have reactivated it or the Air Base dudes did," I answered thoughtfully as I gunned the engine and we hurtled down a steep bank and up the other side, the hummer taking off then landing on the ground hard as we careened forward.
"Interesting," Snowie murmured.
"Any sign of air support and what's happening with Humphrey?" I asked swerving sharply and narrowly missing another tree.
"Air support is three and half minutes away and the robot pigeon has flown the coup," she replied.
"Excellent," I answered. "I'll be in touch as soon as I'm airborne."
"The nearest field is that way," Parsley and Smooch said and pointed left.
I yanked the steering wheel and we careened towards open ground.
* * *
Scooter went to the top of the fir tree, balancing easily on the thin bendy branches and swaying in the light breeze as he scanned the forest. "Nothing up here Snitch, mew must be hearing things, either that or mew're losing your touch!" Scooter yelled.
Humphrey pressed himself against the dark bark and was rendered almost invisible as he heard the squirrel descend the adjacent tree.
Snitch and Ace had their guns up, ready to shoot first and ask questions never when the Bazooka Brothers suddenly reappeared.
"All clear on the left," Bazooka Bros #1 said.
"All clear on the right," Bazooka Bros #2 said.
"Move out!" Snitch growled. "And like I said before if mew see any pussy mew fry it!"
The squirrels scampered off and Humphrey closed his eyes and took a long deep breath, exhaling slowly as he silently counted to ten. He opened his eyes and almost jumped out of his fur.
Perched on the branch next to him was the robot pigeon.
"What the flipping freakin' fluff are mew doing here?" Humphrey gasped. "Mew nearly gave me a heart attack!"
The robot pigeon blinked, its red glowing eyes momentarily extinguished. Then it said in a grating metallic voice. "Air support coming, do not engage hostiles in firefight or airstrike will ensue." It flapped its wings and took off.
Humphrey turned his comms unit on. "Control this is Purredator One, copy?"
"Copy Purredator One, Control online," Snowie answered with palpable relief.
"Control, message received and understood, I repeat message received and understood," Humphrey said. "Still in pursuit of hostiles, will update as necessary, over and out."
He clicked off his comms unit, slid down the tree landing with a soft thwump on the ground, and headed after the squirrels.
* * *
C.J. was circling the chopper just above the field when the hummer launched, airborne out of the forest and landed, bouncing several times in the tall grass before spinning to a halt.
He landed the chopper as we jumped from the stationary but still running hummer and I ran towards our new mode of transport. The rotors were still spinning as I climbed aboard and C.J. handed me a set of headphones.
A couple of moments later Smooch and Parsley appeared with that many weapons I thought for a moment that the second apocalypse was upon us, shaking my head I dismissed the thought with a new one and that was; OH MY COD if that's how those two heathens roll on a daily basis, I've created two gun-toting mercenaries!
C.J. said. "Basil this chopper has a few modifications than enables speeds previously unheard of."
I nodded as he explained the new control system while Smooch fitted a rather intense looking machine gun to the step under the rear door. He loaded the gun and put on his helmet, Parsley had found a parachute in the chopper and was strapping it on as C.J. said. "Basil I'll drive the hummer and see mew back in Mewton-Clawson soon."
Nodding again, I took hold of the controls and the rotors began to speed up and I yelled. "Ready for take-off?"
Smooch and Parsley gave me the paws up sign, and we sailed into the air.
* * *
Amber and Horice were standing in the centre of the garden when they first heard the approach of the fighter jets. They scanned the skies but could only hear the roar of the engines when Snowie's voice crackled offur her comms unit. "Incoming at one o'clock!"