Topcat and Panther had been imbibing catnip and rum punch one night and Topcat fell into a stuporious sleep. Topcat began dreaming of his youth, of one summer spent in Katmandia in the kingdom of Lepan where he was to learn those marshal arts that have helped him so much so many years later. In his dream he saw Kato his sparring partner. Kato seemed to be saying something to him but he just could not hear what it was.
Captain Topcat awoke the next morning hung over but determined. Determined to sail to Katmandia! When he anounced that to Panther she had a quick reply for his idea,"you gotta be nuts!" Topcat just glared at her with his one big green eye.
"Oh Top, I am to hung over for this now at leat let me get a hair of the dog or cat, then we can discuss how you plan to sail into a landlocked mountainous country."
Even though Panther loved a good adventure, she was enjoying the vacation her and Topcat were taking on Catalina island and was in no mood to go back to sea. Topcat was already making plans to go to Katmandia. Panther was skeptical that the ship could sail to the mountain Kingdom in the Himalayas. "We could fly but I have the feeling we are going to need our crew." Captain Topcat said. Panther was still reluctant to quit their vacation.
The next day the decision was taken from them, one of the crew brought in an outlaw poster with Topcat's picture on it ! The cats made a hasty retreat to their ship the CatAvenger and sailed off.
Once out at sea Panther began to get more enthused for the idea of a new adventure." I supposed if we were to go there it would just be another vacation anyway." Panther pontificated. However Topcat's prescience proved to be correct as we received an e-mail message from Kato. The king of Lepan had disappeared under mysterious circumstances and things were not going well in that country. Our help was needed. "Not our help," Topcat said reading over my shoulder as I typed. You are not going Shel. You are going to stay on the ship in safety, this time Panther and I are not taking the CatAvenger. It is beyond even its abilities to sail in the Himalayans mountains. I have thought of a better way to get there. Right before Spooky died she had the idea to sail back in time and steal a zeppelin, specifically the ZX1 which was being tested in 1938 when it mysteriously disappeared." "So," I naively ask, "are you sure this airship can lift Panther?" She glared at me while Topcat laughed, " oh yes it can lift tons of cargo so I suppose it can lift even her." "I don't trust those things after all the Hindenburg blew up" Panther said "Yes but the Hindenburg was a hydrogen Zeppelin, the ZX1 used helium which of course is not incendiary." Thus the cats made plans. plans which left me out, to my secret delight. Topcat decided that the ship could use a good officer; the ship had been lacking one since Spooky's death. "Ach I know just the cat for you!" Engineer Spott said. He is a fellow Scot named Marty and has just the experience you need. Aye he he is a right thief and bad cat as well as having friends in low places." The remark about low places was true for there is not much lower place than the depths of Loch ness, for Marty is friends with Nessie the Loch Ness monster. Thus we sailed off to the wilds of bonny Scotland to recruit Marty. By recruit read -"Shanghai!" Once in Scotland that was not necessary for Marty was wanted for bear mugging and grateful to be out the country.
Marty fit right in with the crew and soon had won most of their money at cards, not poker, the cats favorite game is "Go Fish." Topcat had been tight lipped about what stored in a large crate taking up most of the deck space. But I was soon to find out what this was for. I was hoping to sit out the whole adventure, but this was not to be for, without further preparation the ship sailed though the seas of space and time back, back to 1938. It always amazes me how quickly the crew can prepare for adventure. Poo the miniature polar bear was helping to open the crate by prying it open with her claws. Panther was on deck with a spyglass looking for the airship. Soon the contents of the crate were apparent it was the cat's own ( stolen ) airplane. Engineer Spott soon had the wings put back on and the plane fitted with pontoons. Not a moment to soon for Panther had seen the zeppelin.
Panther flew the plane over the zeppelin. When they were precisely over the
airship Marty, Minty the Monkey and Lup the Pup and Mr. Spott dropped down on it
and scrambled down inside the hatch. They attached a golden thread to the ship.
The other end of of this was attached to the plane which Panther quickly flew
back beside the CatAvenger. In theory the temporal force would be transferred
from the CatAvenger to the Zeppelin.
While the plane was quickly stowed on deck again, the raiders went about their business. As soon as they had dropped inside the quartet had donned gas masks and set to work by throwing the gas grenades inside. These had been prepared by Tiberius the ships chief cook and new quarter master. The gas grenades were about ninety proof and soon had the small test crew aboard quite incapacitated.
Ever since this plan had been conceived Minty, Lup and Engineer Spott had been learning all they could about zeppelin operations, ( as had several other crew members actually,) they quickly went to work. Engineer Spott and his fellow Scot Marty a jack of all trades went to the engine room. While Lup and Minty went to the flight deck.
Minty confessed that the controls were more complicated then she thought they
would be. Lup was also confused by the array of controls.
"Perhaps I can help said a small muffled voice. Startled the two pirates looked around and saw a small grey cat wearing a gas mask almost as big as she was.
"You can take that off. The gas has already dissipated." Lup said. " By the way who are you?" " I am Helga a stowaway," the little cat said removing the gas mask. I have been watching the crew and know how to fly this craft."
Thus the air ship was able to fly over and rendezvous with the CatAvenger. A prize crew was put aboard while the regular test crew now groggy and hung over but awake were put in a large life raft with a radio and plenty of food and water.
Thus the CatAvenger sailed back through the seas of time and space with the aircraft safely in tow. Once back on Shel's Cat Cay their secret base the crew along with Helga the newest recruit were busy outfitting the airship and learning all about it. I stayed busy too since Tiberius now held the duties of quartermaster it was up to me to do all the cooking for a hungry lot of adventurers.
The week quickly went by and the airship was was launched once more now re-christened the "Spirit of Spooky." Then they sailed of leaving me all alone with the CatAvenger on Cat Cay.
By this time, thanks to the help of Helga the stowaway, the crew were all
very familiar with the operation of the the airship and were able to sail over
the the mountains and down into the Kingdom of Lepan.
Soon they saw the monastery Kato lived in by the edge of lake Oshi. As the Airship lowered they saw that the monastery was surrounded by horrible mechanical roaches.Yuck!
The Spirits crew threw down a line which the cats below quickly tethered to a high tower. Topcat and most of the crew then climbed to the ground on a rope ladder.
Topcat met with his old friend Kato. "I surely am glad to see you Topcat all the more so because we need you. Ever since the King's disappearance his evil councilor Dazure has taken over the kingdom and enslaved the population. Those who resist him are beset with a plague of bugs such as those which surround the monastery." "It does'nt seem that you are going to defeat the beasts by staying cooped up here. Topcat replied. "Perhaps it is time to take the fight to Dazure"
Thus Topcat deciding that he best defense was a good offense left Panther and a few others at the monastery as a feint and took the rest of his troops and some of the monastery cats lead by Kato in his airship. They waited until night and sailed off over the enemy surrounding the monastery on all three sides except for the lake side. Over the dark countryside the airship sailed until it reached the fortress of Dazure. Kato knew of a secret entrance they were going to take the fight to Dazure. Sneaking in the the brave band soon ran into resistance in the form of hideous mechanical cockroaches! Some of these were fire breathing which made them even more difficult to fight.
Back at the monastery, Panther with a small group from the CatAvenger as well
as the local cats were having a hard time fighting the roach brigade.
Even though the local cats fought well they were mostly armed with wooden staves and no match for the horrible bugs.
Big Leon fighting with Panther remarked that it was a shame they had to leave the heavy weaponry on the ship, since the zepplin was incapable of lifting that much ordinance.
Panthers reply was to fire her .45 at a bug blowing a hole in its head." At least I have this she remarked." Blasting more of the hideous roaches. Despite the valiant efforts of the defenders they were soon driven out of the monastery on to the shores of the lake. They were cut off with no place to go as the nasty bugs advanced on them.
At the fortress Topcat and his band faced the roach defenders. Fortunately
for them the interior of the fortress was lightly defended and they were able to
fight their way through to the interior. Marty had a great claymore sword as big
as he was and was able to smash the mechanical heads in, athough he was upset
when one of the fire breathing monsters scorched his new leather jacket, "This
is borrowed I will catch it from MR. Fluffy now!" He said and gave the bug the
coup de gras. Soon the band was forced to split up and go separate ways as the
passage had branched out.
Marty and Tiberius ( who was armed with his usual heavey skillet and cleaver )went looking for the control panel Engineer Spott had assured them must be controlling the bugs. The looked everywhere but could not find it.
Topcat was with Helga and Kato. The Captain as usual led the way. As soon as Topcat entered a room a heavy metal door slammed down trapping him inside.
On the beach the cats were forced back to the edge of the water. Then when
they were almost overwhelmed ... BOOM! a cannon fired hurling a cannon ball into
the pack of monster roachs ripping them asunder. "Look, a ship!" Leon roared. It
was the CatAvenger sailing the the lake hurling cannon balls! The ship was'nt
the only thing hurling so was I, thats right me, Shel the cats human companion I
was hanging onto the railing heaving up my guts on the tossing ship as sea sick
as as can be. Boo, boom, boom,boom... the cannon kept firing. In my haste to
keep from being washed over board from the bucking ship I had grabbed on to the
firing lever of the 100mm automatic Bofors gun. The ship ran its self into the
Several of the crew scrambled up onboard and congratulated me on being a hero. "Thats your hero." I said weakly, pointing to a spectral form on the ships bridge.
With a mocking laugh the form dissolved into smoke ands seeped into the structure of the brigantine CatAvenger.
Kato and Helga tried the heavy door but could not open it. They went down the
hall trying to find another entrance. As they rounded the corner they came
across Spott and Marty who had arrived via another hallway.
"This place is laid out like a maze!" Kato exclaimed.
They heard voices crying out from down yet another hallway. As they proceeded down it to investigate they found even more robot roaches guarding a door. Marty quickly dispatched two of them with his claymore but not before one of them had scratched his already singed jacket. "Ach me beautiful ( borrowed ) jacket ruined by these wee beasties!"
The others had taken out the rest of the roaches. Soon they had the heavy iron door open and found that the King of Katmandia had been locked behind it.
Back at the ship the Panther and the others had removed some of the heavier weaponry including a self propelled laser howitzer. Riding upon this, Panther along with the monastery cats and Catavenger crew began to push back the the roach robots from the beach.
Minty the Monkey and Lup the Pup meanwhile came up behind the mechanical roach army blasting it with the twin .50 machine guns Mr. Spott had thoughtfully installed in the dirigible.
Topcat's fortress invaders having mostly secured the castle now came out and
started fighting the mechanical roaches. Caught on three sides the nasty bugs
soon went down in defeat.
Topcat's crew and the monastery cat's were just beginning to congratulate themselves when the ground literally opened up and a gigantic five story tall mechanical roach stalked out.
Nothing not even laser cannon blasts seemed to stop the beast. Then behind it yet another horrid bug came forth spraying fire!
As soon as Topcat had entered the room a large glass jar had dropped down. Using his feline reflexes he was able to roll out of the way. He looked around and saw a control booth at the top of a short flight of steps.
The control arm of the jar went up but before it could attempted to pin him again Topcat had dashed up the steps and blasted the lock on the door with his pistol. Discarding the empty weapon and drawing his sword he sprang in to the control room.
Dazure ( the booths occupant ) however dashed out another door. Topcat ran
after him. Dazure grabbed a large axe from a wall bracket and turned to face the
Dazure's wild swings were no match for Top's excellent fencing skills. Lunge, parry, riposte...lunge, parry, swing... And off went Dazure's head!
The head rolled up next to Topcat's foot... er... I guess that would be next to his paw. As Top looked down he saw the mouth sneer and eyes wink at him. Captain Topcat then looked up just in time to see the headless body rushing him with the great battle axe.
Back on the battle field both giant mechanical roaches rushed at the cat
crew. The second roach however opened fire on the first with the its flame
thrower blasting it to a halt. A hatch opened up and Marty popped out followed
by engineer Spott. "Ach leave it to the Scott's to save the day! Wish we had one
of these at the battle of Culloden."
"Rally to me lets take the castle." With the sound of bagpipes blaring from it's speakers the mechanical monster turned about and headed back to the castle, Marty and Spott once more at the controls.
Topcat blocked the axe and turned to skewer the body just as a very large
very real roach skittered out its neck. The body lay there sparking, it was only
a mechanical shell.
Topcat rushed after it. The horrible bug attempted to exit but Topcat was to quick and dropped the large jar on it, trapping it inside.
"You also are trapped," the beastly bug hissed, "Only I know the code that releases the door."
Marty Spott,Panther, and some of the others had gone into castle.They found Kato and Helga attempting to open the door Topcat had entered. "Stand back,let me show you a trick Spooky taught me." Panther said attaching some semtex plastic explosive to the door.
The door caved in and they entered to find Topcat curled up asleep on top of the jarred bug.
The crew was somewhat mollified that I had not participated in the fighting
when they sat down to the victory dinner I prepared for them.
The king had been restored to his throne with Helga and Kato as advisors. Topcat had given them the Zeppelin. As for the king he got the roach to add to the royal zoo's collection.
I wondered why Topcat and Panther were rushing to prepare the CatAvenger and sail off.
"Aren't you going to stay and see if the King rewards you?" I naively asked. "Virtue is it own reward, my dear Shel " Topcat laughed as the ship sailed off in the dead of night.
Panther however took pity on me and while she fixed herself a warm milk cocktail explained what had happened. "The ships purser caught Marty dragging a large bag of treasure aboard. 'You signed the ships articles: you realize you only get a share of any loot the rest is to be divided up?'
'Ach this is me share! I found the royal treasury it's full o' loot!'"
Panther then reached for her drink. " So you see we half emptied the treasury - half because that's all we can carry. We sure did not want a repeat of what happened in Atlantis... those cheapskates. Heck if it was'nt for Top's calamari venture we would have gone broke." She the reached for her drink only to find it empty. " I am getting forgetful it seems. Perhaps I am getting to old for this business."
I looked up from my own drink, ( a motion sickness concoction.) "Perhaps Panther and perhaps you had help with consuming your drink. That zeppelin may be named 'Spirit of Spooky' but I wonder about the CatAvenger." I said as as caught a glimpse, just a glimpse of green eyes peering at me from the darkness of the wardroom.
We greatly wanted Marty to stay on as a crew member but he decided to go back to Scotland and bribe his way out of the bear mugging charge. I believe he hid the balance of the loot somewhere in Loch Ness, only he and Nessie know where.