Pepe has opened up and is talking about his past yet again. He left us hanging as he jumped out of the delivery van he had stealthily hidden away in. He found himself two blocks away from The Lost Sox Laundry. The very place that had been accepting loads of stolen diamonds, extracted from the very mine he had discovered in the labyrinth of passageways under ground on the very farm where he lived. He was good. I have translated our hero’s words here:
I found the address without any problem. I could see the steam rising from their ventilators from several blocks away. Someone had left the back door ajar, and I crept through silently and blended into a dark corner while my eyes adjusted to the dim light.
The front of the building was a legitimate laundry. Behemoth machines rattled and fought against their moorings. Filled with steam, it was difficult for me to make out the workers. Three humans battled with the machines shouting curses and orders to each other. Water streamed across the tiled floor, pouring into a filthy grate not inches from my feet. The stench was unbearable.
I left this room, exploring a hallway that went past several rooms that held desks and computers. One man sat behind a computer working on a spreadsheet. I crept as close as possible and my eyes struggled to read. A time line. April 11, 2015 was highlighted in red. Before I could read more, I heard footsteps behind me. I hid in a filthy pile of unwashed diapers, and from the stinking mass I heard the conversation. The dialect told me the speaker was Squirrel. The topic stank worse than the pile I was in.
“The meeting has ended, and the Highest Poobah has made his declaration. The Highest of the High’s declaration will be written down now, as I tell you. The Supreme Poobah’s declaration will read as follows:”
It was difficult to hear under the stench that was invading my lungs, my eyes and my fur. How was I ever going to wash this off? Would he just get on with it and forget about all the insane formalities?
“Are you ready to record the Supreme One’s Words?”
“Yes, please continue.”
“The date has been changed. But only the Highest, Supreme Poobah will know the exact moment that the Squirrels will land. The place of the event has changed. But only the Highest, Supreme Poobah will know the exact location where the Squirrels will land. The hour…”
The keys of the computer clacked as the lackey kept up with the Squirrel’s dictation. I now realized that I knew nothing. Everything had changed.
“The Grand Poobah is moving our operation to the north, and will no longer be needing your assistance.”
The lackey looked up from the screen. With utmost respect he asked, “But what about the cat that has been gathering information? What about the band of spies that have been following your every move? What about the book that was stolen that gave the plans for the landing field?”
“Will no longer be a problem, that.” The Squirrel’s voice turned whiney. “The Great, Marvelous Poobah has included that in the plan. It is a marvelous plan, I tell you. You do not have to worry your senseless little brain with the work of the cat any longer.” He stopped to scratch himself. In the dim light I saw fleas spread out in all directions. Some of them ran into the pile of dirty rags where I lay.
“A certain family member, by the name of Orion, has been taken as insurance. Their paws have been effectively tied. Even the flea-bitten George can’t do anything now!”
My heart dropped. Orion in the clutches of the enemy. My brother. Somehow they had discovered my work. Somehow they knew about George. And I had been so haughty at my prowess and cunning. Orion. May God help you. May God help us all.
Stay tuned for further adventures with Pepe in Episode 15: The Squirrels Vamoose