Finder's Keeper's



"Wake up Shel !" Toronto jumped on the recumbent human and meowed loudly in his ear. "Get up, get up!"
"Go away, just go away." The hapless, helpless man known to some as Shel moaned and huddled into a ball trying to cover his head with his hands.

"It's been six months now you are mourning for yourself not for her. You know she survives; there is no such thing as death." Toronto hissed and mercilessly scratched at Shel. Toronto the cat was of course refering to Shel's mother the great enchantress known to catkind as Teba passing away.

"It was her time. She lived her three score and ten and some more on this earth." "I know, it's not just that though." Shel replied. "Snowball and our friend Scruffy have both deserted and Teba's friend Otto left us as well."
"You have no crew the enchanted toys that formed the bulk of your crew seem to have gone on strike and your ship needs repairs..."
"Our ship Shel, our ship! We two can make a new start."

"But.."

"No excuses Shel." Toronto went on relentlessly "I know your body has been through alot however you have gone through worst and survived." Shel just lay there in a stupor.
"Bah, I will do it with or without your help. We have friends in need and I will help them with or with out you." With that Toronto left the room his tail swishing in anger.

Shel lay there a momment or two longer then he thought of his mother and knew that she would never want him to desert a friend in need. He got up in and hobbled out on his metal leg until he heard voices. he went into the room and saw Toronto and a small rabbit huddled together talking.

"Ok, I not only am crippled but I am crazy as well for thinking that my cat can talk and that's the Easter bunny he is talking to." "No you are not crazy for thinking that." The small rabbit said; "but muttering to yourself is not a good sign. Still the fact that you remember who I am, that being the Easter bunny or Passover hare (as I am also known,) is good. I am glad that much of your memory is intact." "Ok bunny as you can see I am in not much shape to help but if I can i will what do you need? Easter has passed so I don't think you need to borrow the ship for candy delivery do you?"

"No dummy," Toronto said to Shel, "Bunny has been telling me that she got the word from some desert hares in the middle east, that some of our alien buddies have been kidnapped by the Badguydas terrorist group now operating out of the nation of Slobonia. They need our help. I know it sounds crazy how those chumps could manage to take them hostage but thats what happened"

"The spirit is willing but the flesh is week." Shel said and tottered out of the room. As he left he heard Toronto say; "It was was Shel's childlike faith that animated the crew. Not that he has lost his innocence they remain dumb toys. We have lost our crew." "Oh great thinking that I hear my cat talking to the Easter Bunny isn't enough now I have to believe that the toys are real. No wonder I am talking to myself it's supposed to be a sign of insanity." Shel Said.
Shel, Toronto and the bunny all said at the same time: "Now is when we need our old friend Otto, Auto-De-Fey."
Just then a voice from above boomed out - "If you had the faith of a little child you could move mountains."
His pains forgotten Shel rushed back into the room. "Is it possible the creator himself has a pet cat?" He gasped.
"If so that could be Otto!" Captain Toronto gasped. Where they had been carelessly tossed the toys stirred back into life...

CHAPTER TWO:

With his crew once more active Toronto set about get things ship-shape. The bunny ask why he had to get things ready to sail, "I have heard your ship can fly, why don't we just fly there?"

"Oh he did a good job but the anti-gravity unit our engineer put in came from a flying tank. It just doesn't have enough power for the ship to fly very well, besides which whatever kind of 'magic" (for lack of a better word,) this ship has is somewhat dependent on water." Seeing the blank look on the bunny's face Captain Toronto continued. "Hey nobody really understands it. Don't feel bad I don't understand about you being the Easter Bunny either." Toronto handed Shel a mop and told him to get busy. Toronto himself worked late into the night working on the ship.

The next day Paul the pirate rat and Oinkly the pig had to rouse Captain Toronto. "Things are almost ready.
We have just received a new set of sails and the crew is busy installing them now." Seeing the look of concern on Toronto's face Oinkly continued; "don't worry bosun Spike took the pinnace Ms. Kitty and met the delivery ship on the high seas. The secret of our isle hide - out, Catcay is safe."
Both Spike and our engineer Spott worked all night we are letting them both sleep." "Thats fine," said Toronto. "We will need Spott in particular to keep the ship running."

Shel limped in with a breakfast tray that Tiberious Tiger the ships cook had prepared. He carefully set the tray on a table. "I am back on duty sir!" The ships lone human Shel announced saluting.

The crew worked all day setting sails and making final preparations for the ship to sail. At sunset Bosun Spike and the ships engineer Spott were once more awake and able to to help get the the ship underway. Thus the brigantine CatAvenger sailed off into the sunset. Ensign Teresa Tiger told Captain Toronto that she had intercepted some communications: it appeared that the captured aliens had somehow contacted their space fleet and ships were on the way to destroy the earth if the aliens were not released from captivity. "Thats absurd," Toronto said." that does not sound like anything or alien friends would do it must be a trick of the Nomed. They must be trying to stir up some kind of trouble.

Toronto knew in his feline heart that as a young inexperienced Captain he needed some help. Toronto sailed the ship to Tel Aviv Israel. Then they flew over the city.They found counter terrorist expert Tat Aluf or (in English) Brigadier General Sparky cat, (not to be confused with Sparky the assassin chihuahua,) working in his rose garden.

With the Commando cat onboard, Captain Toronto sailed on until he ran out of water then he made the command decision to use the antigravity propulsion units that had been salvaged from a Nomed flying tank. Once again the ship flew up into the air.

Shel was sweeping the top deck when the former Ensign Spike now newly appointed as Commander Spike second in Command of the ship appeared. "Shel you were supposed to swab the deck not sweep it. But never mind the ship is about to fly. Get below deck!"

Shel was still standing there dumbly thinking about how the broom he inherited from his mother seemed to mop as well as it swept, when the ship flew up in the air. No sooner had the ship sailed into the sky then Mig jet fighters swooped down upon it. The ever resourceful Engineer Spott had stripped much of the armorment from the captured flying tank and incorporated it into the structure of the ship; thus the fighter jets were met with laser beams and forced away.
But it seemed that they just kept coming in wave after wave...
Kaboom! Despite the ships lasers, one of the Migs got a hit on the starboad side of the ship causing it to rock violently. The ever clumsy Shel, still clutching tightly to the broom slipped slid and went over the side of the flying ship.

Sparky seeing him fall quickly looped a line of rope around a railing and lept after Shel. Just as the brave commando cat grabbed hold of Shel's shirt and begin the climb up the rope a burst of fire from a Mig, hit the railing. With the railing broken the rope came loose and both Sparky and Shel went tumbling down, down to the harsh desert floor below.

On the bridge Captain Toronto was on the intercom with Engineer Spott. "You have to land, this is a ship not a plane." Spott said. Toronto knew his engineer was right despite the anti-gravity drive that had been incorporated into the structure of the brigantine the ship was never designed to fly; besides which the unit was underpowered for the weight of the ship. Toronto keeped flying lower looking for a spot; anyspot of water while jet fighters relentlessly came towards it.

The broom with cat and human continued to fall, then a green light began to blink on the "broomstick" shaft and it started to level off. "Quick climb on like its a bicycle or a horse." Sparky said to Shel. As soon as the two scrambled aboard the "broom," the shaft expanded into a comfortable seat and a display screen and minature handle-bars somehow popped out. Without thinking Shel grabbed the handles. A voice from hidden speaker announced "DNA mapping recognizes rider as son of Teba, rider authorized. Shel as usual was clueless about what was happening. Sparky looked at the readouts on the handle bars and said. "This is an alien flying craft. I have heard of them from my contacts in the CIA (Cat Intelligence Agency.) Your mother must have been good friends to have been given this," he said pointing to a small plate on the handle bars; "Presented with thanks to our good friend Teba," it said.

While Sparky had been chatting a huge flying object appeared over them and a tractor beam locked on sucking them in. It appeared that the Slobonians as well as the Bayguydas terrorists had some powerful allies. It was a Nomed ship.

Once through the docking door of the great flying craft small robots surrounded the duo on their flying scooter. The door to the craft closed behind them locking them in.

Once in the the flying craft they were confronted by a quadrant of robots. The mechanical beings were obviously trying to capture them however the brave cat and not so brave human flew right past them. One of the robots shot at them and a bluish shield popped up saving them from the direct force of the fire however the impact was enough to cause Sparky to tumble off. Before Shel could turn the flying "broom" the robots had chased Sparky into a side passage. as soon as he entered the passage the doors shut behind him; at first Sparky thought this meant he was safe from the robots but up ahead more robots were taking pot shots at him from a doorway and then ducking back inside before he could return fire. "Only have one clip left anyway, and no hand-grenades..." Sparky said to himself and triggered his Uzi and quickly tossed it into the doorway where it continued to fire and spun around until the clip was empty. When he entered Sparky saw all the robots had been disabled, all that was left was broken scraps of metal. Just when Sparky thought he was safe the doorway to the passage way way opened and more robots advanced on him...

Down below the CatAvenger was taking a beating. Even with it's laser weaponry and shrinking ray Captain Toronto did not know how long they could hold of the dive bombing fighter planes. Things were looking grim and desperate.

Sparky was relieved to see the Shel flying in behind the robots still clutching tightly to the "broom," which was firing at the robots.

"You have done it Shel looks like you have shot all the robots!" Sparky yelled gleefully."Don't thank me;" Shel replied,"this gizmo did all the work all I did was hang on for dear life."

CHAPTER THREE:

The CatAvenger had lost the high ground and was about to lose the battle; just then a UFO appeared and fired. ZOOM... KaBOOOOM! A bolt of pure energy shot out of the UFO and blasted a huge hole on the desert floor. Like a well it was full of water. The hatch on the craft opened and Sparky popped out, "land!" He yelled.
Captain Toronto did not need to be told twice, he quickly landed the CatAvenger in the pool of water. Now that it was once again in its natural element, whatever "magic" or unknown advanced technology the ship was imbued with was once again activated, all systems were normal. "Yes!" Captain Toronto roared, "arm the cannons lets shoot down the planes."
It was to late however for the alien craft had already chased off all the jet fighters. Very gently the craft landed near the body of water, in which the CatAvenger was floating.
Shel popped out of the hatch to cheers from the CatAvenger crew. "You and Sparky have done it Shel. "Actually it was Shel's mother's broom said Sparky;" appearing next to Shel.
Toronto cat was not amazed; "well if it was Teba's broom I am not surprised."
Captain Toronto and engineer Spott were given a tour of the captured spacecraft.
I could fly this Spott insisted, "the technology of the Nomed who built this is very similar to that of the Nellas, our aliens friend's. I took apart the components of the flying tank Snowball captured. I am sure I can figure this out."
"How about this, Sparky said pointing at the "broom."

"I don't think she carved it herself like it said in the old ship's log." Spott remarked. "Obviously it was given to her by the Nellas." Toro observed pointing out the plaque.

It must not only fly but also contain advanced artificial intelligence."
While Spott and the Captain were talking, Sparky had slipped away. He returned with six ugly creatures held at gun point. "This is all that were in control of the ship, the rest is automated." Toronto laughed and handed Sparky a pistol. "Six of the Nomed captured by one cat with an empty Uzi. Thats a good trick Sparky." Toronto noted seeing the firearms bolt locked back and an empty chamber.
"Perhaps we can make a trade..." Captain Toronto continued pondering.
After the captured Nomed aliens had been consulted it was agreed that they would be traded to their confederates for the captured Alien friends of the CatAvenger.
The trade would be by the Catspian sea which formed one border of nation of Slobonia.

The captured alien craft was landed gently by the shore of the sea and the six Nomed alien creatures under close guard were marched out in preparation of the trade. Suddenly a huge flying saucer easily six times the size of the one Brigadier General Sparky had captured flew over. However instead of landing it stopped dead still in the leaden gray sky.

It's forward hatch opened and large missile pods lowered. It was quite apparent that the Nomed had no intention whatever of making any kind of trade. Rather they were willing to sacrifice six of their own comrades out of an act of sheer evil vengeance. The saucer hung there menacing as it's missiles powered up, and then... then it got smaller and smaller.

Miles away acrossed the sea Captain Toronto congratulated his engineer, Spott; "you did it. I only wish you could have knocked down the fighter planes with it."
Spott had to remind the good Captain, (that as Spott himself had been too busy at the time of the engagement too use it,) none of the other crew members were qualified to use it. The jets were a speeding target and they could not get a good shot with the unfamiliar weapon. The weapon of course being the infamous Shrinking Ray. "This time they made it easy just sitting there." "I am happy now that I bothered to hook this up from the flying battle tank Snowball captured. I knew I would find some use for it." Spott commented as he pulled the shrunken ship in with the CatAvenger's tractor beam.

AFTERMATH:

An electromagnetic charge was shot into the captured miniaturized saucer and knocked it temporarily while also disabling any robots. Knock out gas was then used on the crew. The hostages could then safely be rescued and returned to their normal size.

The rescued aliens were now allowed to use the CatAvenger's communication facilities to phone home. They left after their people arrived amid profuse thanks, especially after Captain Toro turned down anythought of a reward. It was only after their alien pals left, (taking with them the imprisoned Nomed,) that the good Captain reminded his disappointed crew that they had not beeen left exactly empty handed - finder's keeper's they now had two Nomed craft packed with all kinds of goodies.

"And what about you?" Captain Toronto said to Sparky the brave commando cat. "Will you join our crew?"
"No, I must be back; these are troubled times my nation and my family need me, now more than ever."
"Your 'nation'! Cat's have no king!" Was Toro's response.
Sparky responded; "perhaps that is true, but it is my human's nation and just as your human Shel could not do without you, my humans could not do without me."
Captain Toronto could not argue with that. And Sparky flew off in the very spacecraft he had captured.
After all finder's keeper's.



As always the plot in this story is dependent on events that happened in the other stories - they are a continuing series. Hopefully if you read them in order they will make a bit of sense.

I would like to thank my good Cat Chat friend LW for "volunteering" her cat Sparky.

This story is for DJ!


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