~ Follow my adventures as a super-hero cat and an eccentric food taster ~

Jul 23, 2010


CHAPTER 19: Tracking Down the Bomber ©

In the weeks before the explosion, teams of superheroes and FBI agents had staked out the hanger where Oprah's private jet was housed. Security had always been tight, but with the Katzenjammer's threat, it had intensified with the inclusion of superheroes from Headquarters.

The aim had been to locate any unusual activities and track them back to their source. All suspect activities until just hours before the explosion, had proven harmless.

Two hours before the jet's take-off and explosion, Lily the Civet and an FBI agent were crouched on the roof of a nearby hanger when Lily felt her whiskers tingle.

One of Lily's super-powers was the ability to pick up electronic and radar-type signals on her whiskers. With the help of Headquarters, her ability had been fine-tuned and she was equipped to send back all details of the signals to their investigative team in the USA.

That night she sensed the approach of something with an electronic signal and waited for it to approach. She had transmitted the information via her internal link-up and asked in morse-code if she should try and track its source.

"Wait to see if anything develops or if the signal comes closer and let us know," came the reply from Headquarters.

A few minutes later, Lily advised that a small motorised device had arrived inside the complex. The wheeled contraption was the size of a lunch-box and appeared to be operated by remote control and was making its way towards the hanger where Oprah's private jet was located.

"Wait for Mal-Larci," came the instructions, "And then track it down together. Use his super-sight and hearing to help you."

When I heard of my assignment, I was delighted to be teamed up with the beautiful civet and hoped my feelings would not be transparent. She had seemed uninterested in me throughout our time together and I did not want to be distracted during this important assignment. Striving to control my feelings, I flew out immediately to the private airport, and transmitted my arrival to her as I hung suspended in the air above her location.

Immediately Lily joined me and she said, "I'll try to zero in on the source of the signals. Hopefully it won't get mixed up with anything else which is unlikely at this time of the night."

"Fine," I replied, "Just let me know how I can help."

"You've probably heard that Headquarters is sending in a team to check the device if possible," she said.

"Yes," I said unnecessarily, as we were both connected to radio transmissions from the US Headquarters.

"Are you able to find out anything else from the signal?" I asked.

"At this time, only its approximate location," Lily said, "And the signal is on a very precise wave-length. Wait..."

She was quiet for a few moments, then added, "I believe there's a hidden signal underneath the main one. I've told Headquarters that I believe the device is programmed to detonate if interfered with."

"That will mean a change of plans then," I said.

Lily's speed had been steadily increasing when she came to a sudden stop. 

"It's around here somewhere," she said.

I noticed her whiskers twitching in light from the moon.

"Down there," she said, pointing towards a row of storage sheds.

Narrowing my eyes, I spotted an opening in one of the roller doors.

"Follow me," I said.

Landing behind a bush, we peered out towards the storage shed and Lily said, "Let me go and have a quick look."

Her outline flickered for a moment and then she seemed to dissolve into the night air. I could still sense her presence though, and then heard the soft impact of her paws as she leapt away onto the concrete surrounding the sheds.

My super-hearing picked up the soft padding of her feet as she approached the shed, but nothing else.

"There's no-one here," she told me in morse-code. "I'm going to go in."

"No wait," I said, but it was too late.

Instantly a loud siren was heard as Lily sneaked under the door. Turning tail she came bounding back, reappearing next to me.

"Darn!" she exclaimed, "I spotted the cameras inside before I entered. I figured the cameras wouldn't see me because I'm camouflaged, but hadn't expected a motion detector at the door."

"So what did you discover?" I asked, hope fading.

"There was a third signal mixed in, which I hadn't noticed until I got up close," Lily said in a disappointed tone.

"I got a general sense of its direction and distance before the signal stopped," she added. The motion detector had disrupted the third signal.

"Ok, let's see if we can close in on the source of the third signal," I said. "It can't hurt to try."

Lily nodded and we were quickly at the general area where this signal originated.

"The problem is that I can't track it down to its source because the signal's gone, but it was somewhere in this ½ km radius," she said.

It was a mostly industrial area with sheds of all sizes, and I could tell by Lily's face that she was dismayed about the prospect of locating this third signal source in such a location.

"Don't worry about it," I said reassuring. "Just let me tune in my ears and eyes and see if I can spot anything."

During the next fifteen minutes, as I scrutinised the area, three trucks exited several facilities and there was only one business that was busy with large-scale activity. There was also a small light in a medium-sized shed further away.

Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, though I transmitted details of the trucks and their number-plates back to Headquarters.

"That's a bit suspicious," I said, pointing towards the shed with the small light.

"I can't see anyone in the office there, but the door is wide open," I continued. "I should investigate. If a stray cat wanders in through the open door, I'm sure nobody will be concerned."

Lily followed close behind me as we flew in. She remained out of sight and camouflaged herself against the metal wall.

Removing my mask, I sauntered around the site before peeking inside the office door. When I didn't see anyone inside, I made my way around to the side of the building where I found an open window. 

"I'm going in," I sent to Lily in code.

"Take care," she replied.

Intensifying my vision, I scanned the large shed before deciding to enter. Nothing appeared out of the ordinary. There were several work-benches though I was unable to determine details in the near darkness.

Fortunately no sensor was triggered as I slipped through the opening.  Gingerly I looked around. As I took a few steps inside, my senses told me instantly that something was wrong. Perhaps it was the sound of a tiny click that alerted me, but by then it was too late. 

From overhead, a heavy cage hurtled down towards me and though I tried desperately to get out of the way, it clanged down in place around me, the sound echoing inside the shed. 

Pushing with all of my strength, I tried to lift the cage but it was no use. I did not have super-strength and had no way to escape.

"Mmm," murmured a voice from a shadowed corner of the room. "I wasn't expecting to catch a cat."

Turning to the voice, I tried to look like a startled but ordinary cat.

"I guess it's just my lucky day," he said with a chuckle.

There was a menacing tone in his voice, and I signalled back to Lily that someone had caught me and it was probably Katzenjammer.

"I'm sure I can arrange something special for you," the bomber said. 

The light from a nearby window glinted in his eyes, and I almost shuddered at the coldness of his stare.

It was at that moment that I began to feel really frightened.

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