The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #14194   Message #305312
Posted By: Naemanson
25-Sep-00 - 06:44 PM
Thread Name: Sgt.Kat and Her Howling Mudcat Commandos
Subject: RE: Sgt.Kat and Her Howling Mudcat Commandos
It was dark in the cell. He knew there were others in there with him but he couldn't see how many and he had no idea who they were. He only knew that the parachute harness was starting to chafe him in places he'd rather not have chafed. He felt his way across the cell, occasionally stumbling over another prisoner. His head hurt, not from the blow that felled him but from the sound coming from the speakers in the walls. This would be the fifteenth replaying of Song Sung Blue. Following that would be Cracklin Rosie. He didn't think he could stand it much longer.

He reached to door to the cell and peered out into the hallway. There was a switch on the wall just out of reach. He pulled up one of the dragging parachute strings and tied his mechanical pencil to it. After several attempts the pencil hit the switch and the overhead bulbs came on. They were only forty watt bulbs but after the darkness the light hurt his eyes.

He turned to see the others looking at him. He shrugged. "It seemed like the thing to do," he muttered. One of the prisoners looked for all the world like an Indian. He uncoiled from the lotus position he had assumed and strode silently forward. He studied the hall.

"I see they have piled our belongings in that other cell." He commented calmly. Naemanson stared at him. It was as if the strains of Cracklin Rosie were having no effect on him. He looked around. The possum was here slowly and calmly beating his head against the floor.

If only we could get the door open said a third person. Naemanson and the Indian turned to look at him. They saw a slight young man dressed in grey. He moved as though each step was a dance. They watched him as he studied the problem and Naemanson thought he heard him mutter something about someone called Fafhrd.

The others introduced themselves as Little Hawk and Mousethief. They looked at the possum and Naemanson said, "I think his name is Cleigh."

"Well," said Naemanson, "if we are going to ever get out of here we have to work together." He looked at them. "If we can get to our stuff we have a chance. How are we going to get this door open?"

Mousethief studied the lock for a minute and then pulled some tools from a secret compartment in the heal of his shoe. He began to work on the lock. Cleigh got bored with beating his head on the floor, stepped between the bars, and wandered off down the hall. He reached the end and turned around pacing back down to the other end. The other prisoners stared at him.

"Hey, Cleigh!" Little Hawk called softly, "Can at least see if you can find the keys or bring us some of our stuff?"

The possum studied the prblem and said, "Gee guys, it ain't too easy frum heer. I cain't get into thet room cuz the dore is lokd."

"But you can just walk between the bars!" Naemanson called, fighting his frustration.

"Yep!," said Cleigh, "and then whut? I'm lokd in t'other room!"

Suddenly there was a click and Mousethief gave a satisfied grunt. The door swung open. He glided across to the other door and got to work.Naemanson took up a position on one end of the hall and Little Hawk strode to the other. Suddenly Naemanson heard the unmistakable sounds of approaching feet. He turned desperately to see Mousethief swing the door open. Naemanson and Little Hawk sprinted down and in to the room. As Little Hawk scooped up his quiver and bow Naemanson grabbed his psaltery case.

"There isn't time for that," Mousethief muttered.

Naemanson ignored him as he drew the psaltery from the case and then reach in and clipped a bulbous object underneath it. He was feeling in his pockets as he explained to his companions. "This isn't just a regular bowed psaltery. This was built by one of the master crafters. The attachment is an amplifier which makes this an a-psaltery weapon. And with this, "he held up a small copper topped cylinder, "I can commit a-psaltery and battery! Let's go…"