Pepe of Noswad and the Squirrels of Chaos, Episode 10: Pepe Descends into the Lowest Pit of Chaos

 

Pepe romantic

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.

Pepe of Noswad and the Squirrels of Chaos, Episode 9: The Ugly, Furry Faces of Chaos

Pepe romantic

In the previous Episodes, Pepe of Noswad bravely accepted the mission to infiltrate the ranks of the enemy: The infamous Squirrels of Chaos. He fearlessly stole the book with their evil secret plans and delivered it to his Chief Officer, George in his bunker, ‘The Concrete Palace.’ Inside the book was a map and a detailed plan for Area 31. The landing pad for Alien Squirrels, scheduled to overtake the USA.

We left our hero, Pepe, in the center of the squirrel underground, sitting at the Commander’s table, raising a glass of whiskey in salute. And now, we return…

 

“Hail to the Squirrels of Chaos,” I shouted. All the while, my eyes memorized their faces, matching them to the names on their stinking badges.

The whiskey felt hot as it coursed down my throat. My blood was boiling. It took every ounce of strength to keep my claws hidden. They ached to rip out the Commander’s throat. His words, and the blind allegiance these dimwitted squirrels offered him astounded me. They were rabid in their enthusiastic support.

He worked their emotions with his words and actions, whipping them into new heights of fevered loyalty.

“A new day has dawned!” The Commanding Squirrel opened his arms as though lovingly embracing his congregation. Some of these soldiers of chaos had seen heavy battle, their wounds still raw. Some were missing ears, others paws. Several wore eye patches made of leaves. One poor fellow had lost both hind legs, and was hauled around by his mates on a child’s discarded skate. A few sat at the edges of the crowd staring blankly into space.

“Heil!” Yelled the crowd.

“A new day for the Squirrels of Chaos!”

“Heil!” Screamed the crowd.

“We shall be ready!”

A few of the squirrels began to dance maniacally. “Heil!”

“We shall welcome our Saviors from afar!”

“Heil!” One of the dancers swooned.

“A landing pad.” The crowd cheered. “A landing pad where our future will land!”

“Father!” The squirrels chorused. “Our Father of Chaos!”

Music began to play through the speakers overhead. The room filled with patriotic fervor and song.

His attention turned to me. “I know nothing about you, but you come with Ralph’s highest commendations. So trust you, I must. A most important document has been stolen by the filth that opposes us. The guards that allowed our most prized book to be taken have paid the price with their lives. Their livers have seasoned our meal. But the book that contains these secrets of the base must be found. It cannot fall into enemy hands. Ralph says that you’re the Cat to do it. Do I have your allegiance?”

I felt like vomiting as I looked around the room. But my mission, entrusted to me by my leader, George, called for me to go as deep into this depraved mind as I could. I raised my paw, my claws carefully sheathed in salute.

“Tell me more.”

He nodded to his Second in Command who swaggered to the table. His badge, I saw, was crafted out of a gold beer bottle cap. Scrawled over the top was the name, ‘Bud.’

“Bud, take this cat down to the lower level. Answer all his questions, show him everything. We own him now.”

Stay tuned for the next episode in which Pepe descends into the lowest pit of Chaos.