Chapter 2

The faithless Freelions.

Catacombs was quite, as everyone prepared for the Catnip parade, an annual parade celebrating all things good and pleasant to the feline species.  Each year carts paraded through Catacombe dressed up with Balls of yarn, scratch posts, catnip, mice and birds along with many other cat favorites, so at this time of year everyone was somewhere preparing a cart.  Michtail needed a plan of action, he needed to inform all the right people to muster up a rescue mission and quick after all he only had 2 days before his guide had to leave.  Michtail knew he should follow the correct protocol for any Purlitary activity so he headed straight for his Troop leader.  His troop leader was a harsh cat by the name of Sergent Sowerpuss, he was quick to swipe his paws at anyone who stepped out of line or messed up but Michtail knew he had to report the news to him first, even with these festivities abound Michtail was certain that he would find his troop leader at the training ground running drills with some of his troops.  Michtail hot tailed it over to the assault course and exactly as he expected there was Sergent Sowerpuss yelling insults and instructions at the troops.  Michtail had heard the loud bellowing voice of Sergent Sowerpuss from 1/2 a mile away and just followed the sound swiftly wasting no time.

“Sir, Sir I have very important news Sir!”  Michtail made sure he addressed Sergent Sowerpuss in the correct manner through fear of a reprimanding even though this was a matter of great urgency.  “Yes Michtail what is it boy?” bellowed Sergent Sowerpuss still keeping his eyes on his trainee troops.  “”Sir, I have just been informed by an eyewitness of a surviving member of the reconnaissance mission from last month Sir!”  snapped Michtail in an otherwise unusual manner.  “Well boy, where did you come by such information?”  a stern and skeptical Sergent responded.  How was Michtail going to explain himself to the Sergent?  What reason should he give about why he was out in the forest alone and who would believe a talking mushroom told him, after all Michtail had seen the talking mushroom yet still didn’t quite believe it himself.  “Sir, I was out conducting a sweep of the perimeter and a stranger proceeded to advice me SIr!”  Michtail felt that his excuse would hold up and only hoped that a stranger would still be considered a credible eye-witness of events.  “A stranger you say boy?”  Sergent Sowerpuss wasn’t convinced.  “Sir, yes Sir!” a very sure response from Michtail was quite convincing.  “Leave it with me Michtail and I will speak to the Captain as soon as I finish up here.”  Sergent Sowerpuss wasn’t aware of the urgency that Michtail felt.  “Sir, if I may, Sir?”  enquired Michtail of the Sergent,  “Yes, Michtail?”  was the abrupt response he received, “Sir, I have asked the informant to wait where I left him until I can muster up a rescue mission, the only thing is he can only wait for 2 days before he will leave.”  Michtail was hoping that his sense of urgency would transfer to the Sergent however it did not “I said leave it with me boy and I will speak with the Captain.”  “Sir, yes Sir!” a defeated Michtail responded and turned on his heel and left.

Now what was Michtail to do, he knew he couldn’t go above Sergent Sowerpuss’ head because it would break all Purlitary rules, all he could do now was wait and hope.  Michtail ran back to his barracks to get his thoughts together because his head was spinning around in thoughts.  The barracks slept 6 and Michtail had grown quite close to his barrack companions but hoped that no one else was there or he knew that more chatting would only cloud his thoughts.  Michtail burst through the barrack doors and was met by 2 of his barrack companions sitting on their bunks, Clawford and Whiskard were both busy planning what they would do with their leave, they only had 3 more days to wait before they get to leave the barracks and return home to visit their family home.  Clawford peered up from over the top of his paper “Hey, what’s with all the rush Michtail?” he asked, ” I just heard that one of those four warriors are still alive but we only have two days to organise a rescue mission or our guide leaves.”  replied Michtail with some real urgency in his voice.  Both Clawford and Whiskard jumped to their feet and launched across the room in Michtails direction “Are you serious?”  Clawford and Whiskard asked at the same time, “Yes, I’m deadly serious.”  Michtail had began to pace up and down as he replied “The only problem is that I’ve told Sergent Sowerpuss but he told me to wait.” with that Michtail plonked himself down on the side of his bunk.   The atmosphere in the room fell somber as the other two cats also sat back down, they all felt powerless, all they could do now was wait.

Some time later, as the sun hit the last tree in Catacombe which announced the end of the daytime watch and the start of the night-time watch Sergent Sowerpuss was meeting with Captain Crawly in his soundproof office otherwise known as the middle of the tallest pine tree in Catacombe.  Captain Crawly was a true veteran of the Purtlitary, not only had he made Captain but his father had and his father’s father and his father’s father’s father before that.  They had fought and defended Catacombe from the wild dogs and rats and banished them from the forest many years ago.  The Captain was a hard and grumpy Black cat with a Purlitary white crest on his chest, some say he wasn’t always hard and grumpy but that he had turned that way soon after his son Furlix had disappeared on a mission he had planned.

The Captain listened carefully to what the Sergent had to say and and a further discussion commenced with the other Sergents present.  After some time had passed the Captain spoke up “To conclude, we can not risk the lives of yet more Warrior cats on the simple words of an unknown informant and the chance passing of one of our Warrior cats.”  The Purlitary leaders were unanimous and the message of more bad news was now the responsibility of Sergent Sowerpuss to deliver back to Michtail as was customary in a case like this.

A knock on Barrack 6’s door sent each cat to their feet abruptly, by this time all of the other barrack members were back and had heard the news, Michtail opened the door to see Sergent Sowerpuss’ large figue standing there.  “Michtail a word in private please.” was the request of Sergent Powerpuss,  “Sir, yes Sir!” was Michtail’s expectant response.  As the Sergent delivered his message Michtail was holding back his desire to shout, cuss or disrespect the decision of the Purlitary and these great Warriors but he held his tongue.  Michtail turned on his heel and walked back towards his barracks, he now knew he had to tell the others the news of zero activity by the Purlitary to the news.  Just before Michtail got to his barracks he leant over around the corner of the building and threw up a furball caused by the feeling in the pit of his stomach.  Michtail composed himself once more and walked back into barrack no.6 to deliver the news to the others.

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