So. I was entrusted to ‘Bud,’ The Commander’s Second in Command. I was to be briefed on any and all information that I would request. The evening was getting interesting. All I had to do was keep my eyes and ears open, and appear to buy into their plan. The information would be safe with me…until I got it to George.
The path was descending sharply now, I had to use my claws to keep myself from slipping down the rocky slope. Even in the low light, I could see workers busy in the shadows. Desks were lined along the edges of the tunnel, papers were piled high, huge maps were nailed into the very rock that formed the walls. Maps that corresponded to the one we’d found in the book. I motioned for Bud to show them to me.
He sighed, anxious to hand me over to someone else, I assumed. He shuffled to the wall, and turned on the overhead light. “We are here,” he pointed with a stick. “These things are over there,” he pointed again to the other side of the map.
“What are those things?” I asked patiently, not wanting to push him beyond what his simple thoughts would allow.
He got up close to the map, and brought out a pair of reading glasses from his satchel. He fastened these around his ears and peered at the map again, reading carefully. At first, I thought he was truly dim-witted, then I saw it was a clever act. He was hoping to be rid of me and get on with whatever his original plan for the evening was. But I had information to gather, and he didn’t know how close he was coming to becoming a meal. I grabbed him by the scruff of his neck and hauled him close to my face. I couldn’t help that I was drooling by the mere thought of the tasty meal he would provide. He assumed I was rabid.
“Don’t be foolish,” I hissed. “The commander wants me to know all there is to know. Don’t go acting like you know nothing, or we’ll go back and have a talk with him about your lack of enthusiasm!”
This caused a surprising response from Bud. His knees began shaking so hard that he had to sit down to recover. “I know you come with recommendations, but I don’t trust you,” he whispered, wringing his hands.
“We can go back…” I began.
“No! I hate to think what he’d do with me. Hail Father of Chaos!” He shouted this loud enough for the other squirrels in the tunnel to hear him, and shout, “Hail our Father,” in response. Soon not only was the map explained to me in detail, but I had a copy of it as well. We left the wall, and descended further into the darkness.
My eyes are good. Cat eyes are incredible with the amount of light they can wring out of the darkness. I saw things Bud couldn’t see, and I saw things I didn’t want to see. Stairways leading to other tunnels, signs scratched into the rock depicting executions, calendars with expected goals written onto them. I demanded copies of those. The landing of the alien squirrels was scheduled for April 11, 2015, still quite a ways into the future, but there was no time to waste. We descended further.
We went down a long stairway that had been carved from stone. This passageway was long; I could hear noises ahead of us, and they echoed along the corridor. As we turned a sharp corner, the light blinded me, and I had to grab Bud to keep myself from falling. We had entered a huge open room, filled with lights that were wired into a ceiling 50 feet above our heads. Fifty feet below us was the floor of the chamber. At least 500 feet across, the walls shone with a brilliance I had never seen before. Reflecting the light from above and below was a wall covered with crystalized formations. Diamonds the size of footballs.