Nemo anxiously looked up and down the yard to
assure himself that no one was looking. Making sure that no one was, he
pressed his paw against the front of the air conditioner unit by the
back of the house. It rotated once, then clicked up into place to
reveal a communication device. He glanced at the screen, sure enough, a
message was waiting for him from HQ.
That wasn't normal, he thought, because usually
they could wait long enough for him to receive messages in the control
room. Whenever they felt that it was important enough, they paged his
com unit that had been embedded into his tail. Odd feeling indeed
having his tail go off, especially when he was curled up and asleep
with his tail against his nose. Really odd feeling.
He clicked on the message, and waited for it to
be pulled from HQ, but as soon as he read it, he had wished that he had
checked it all that much earlier.
"He's tracking you."
That was all it said, and he knew very well who
the "He" was. Viktor was tracking them back to the house. Reeling at
the possibility of having to relocate he glanced at the sun. He still
had one hour of daylight, and he had to wait till night fall before he
could act. He glanced around as he clicked the air conditioner unit
back to normal, as his eyes continued the patrol, he met another pair
of eyes glaring back at him from behind a bush. "
Not again!" he mumbled, as the all but not
familiar voice cut through the branches, towards him.
"How could you let him find us?"
"I'm not sure, I do know that he hasn't found
us yet though!" he fired back, "please try to remember that we are in
"I've been here too long to be forced to
She lifted herself from her curled position and
walked over to him, keeping her glare as icy as possible.
"Ms. Kitty, I realize that this is very
unfortunate, but you know that it is standard procedure to wait until
nightfall before I can even so much as scan for him or for the device
that he is using."
Nemo was trying to talk as respectfully as he
could without getting angry. He knew the seriousness of the situation,
he didn't need an older cat to tell him about reality. His mind
continued to think of solutions while Ms. Kitty continued to rail on
him about relocation. He knew all about how she had been relocated the
first time, that was why she was here. Her parents had been with him on
the mission that triggered the accident, only Nemo had survived. He
smiled a little, as he was thankful that Viktor hadn't immediately
inherited the ruthless behavior of his father.
Unfortunately Ms. Kitty also saw the smile, and
was well aware that she was being ignored, she got really close to him
and hissed in his face.
"It would be easy for you to relocate now, but
I don't ever want it to happen again, understand?" She grew sad for a
minute, "I really miss my parents."
Nemo was caught off guard by the confession he
looked at her for a minute.
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to..."
She looked back at him for a moment, with sad
eyes, and then flipped back into her icy as ever mode.
"You better do something about it right now,
get in there and find out where he is and what he is doing, he won't
wait for nightfall, you should know that."
Nemo suddenly realized that she was absolutely
right, even with the added cover of nightfall, Viktor most assuredly
wouldn't do something nice like that and wait.
He suddenly hit on it, one of the smaller life
forms was coming home from a friend's house, he whipped around the
house up to the front door and leapt up to the bottom of the door. She
walked right up the stairs and opened the door, letting him go in
Perfect, now the hard part was to get into the
control room. Nemo raced up to the main entrance, not this way, a life
form was occupying the main entrance, but since the other side was
still under construction, he raced through the master bedroom and into
the bathroom that was still largely under construction, he twisted his
way through the mess and got to the entrance.
There was a lot at stake here, and he didn't
want to let anybody down. He pawed down and the board clicked out to
let him in, jumping down into the control room, he flipped on the
scanner and did a normal deep scan of the house. Nothing. Not good, it
should have picked up something. He flipped it to advanced deep scan,
still nothing. He maxed out the dial and hit scan again.
Finally it got something, there was a radio tag
downstairs in the storage closet under the cage that Tsuki and Yoru
called home. Old technology, of course, why hadn't he thought of that,
but what could he possibly want to use one of those for?
Because it didn't transmit anything, the answer
hit him like a brick, that would have been picked up sooner, the
control room would have instantly alerted him to anything transmitting
out, a radio tag needed something to transmit to it so that it could
transmit out. He widened the scan and sure enough, in the sewer line a
couple of blocks off was the transmitter, moving slowly, but definitely
coming. Not much time to act.
His mind raced with what to do as he raced out
of the room and down the stairs, at this point, what the life forms
thought of him was unimportant, and surely they gave him some weird
stares. He raced down stairs and over by the cage, when Tsuki and Yoru
saw him and knew something was up. To the life forms, they didn't get
along very well, at least that was what their assignment was to do. So
Nemo approaching their cage meant that they had to be disagreeable
towards each other.
Thankfully none of the life forms occupied the
downstairs and Nemo hurriedly found the hot spot on the floor and pawed
it. It snapped and ground up, raising a two foot slab of concrete in
which they had embedded a closet of sorts. He held out the scanning pad
that he had grabbed from the control room and it beeped over their new
velcro shoes from the previous mission.
"Aha!" yelled Nemo, "we picked it up on our
last mission and brought it home with us." Yoru and Tsuki blankly
stared over at Nemo trying to figure out the break in protocol. Yoru
stared at Nemo for a minute, then at the object he was carrying,
observing him scour the boots that had set off the pad, finally
figuring out what he was doing.
"I guess we should have known that he was going
to pull something, I mean come on, he was trying to blow us and the
power plant sky high with all those bombs. What did he use to track
Nemo nodded at him.
"A radio tag, didn't get picked up
automatically because it was such old technology."
He turned back to the boots, looking at them
and thinking about what to do. Viktor was still a good distance off,
but he needed to find the radio tag and figure out what to do with it.
Tsuki glanced around, listened for the life
forms locations, and popped open the cage. She walked over to Nemo, as
he was intently looking at the boots. She looked at them for a second,
reached at the boots and popped out the radio tag. Nemo looked at her
in disbelief as she handed it to him. Nemo held it up as they all
looked at it, smaller than a pin head, but to them it was more
destructive than all that could be made.
Nemo quickly described the whole situation to
Tsuki and Yoru as they listened intently. They all decided that getting
the tag out of the house was probably the best thing, but how to get it
out without Viktor knowing about it. Nemo placed the tag on the
scanning pad that he had brought with him. The pad hummed for a second
as it analyzed the tag and its inner workings, as it finished its
diagnostics it started projecting a light image around the tag, that
pulsed every twenty seconds. Nemo looked at the readings for a minute.
"It looks like we have about twenty seconds to
do whatever we can to get it out, otherwise he is going to be able to
realize that there is a shift in location, it might be possible to..."
Nemo broke off as one of the life forms started
descending the stairs, Yoru and Tsuki dashed into their cage, closing
the door, Nemo looked around for a second and headed for a couch when
Tsuki squealed and pointed.
"The closet, Nemo the closet!"
Nemo did a one-eighty and slammed the closet
slab back into place, turned tail and jetted under the couch only
seconds before the life form rounded the bend of the last stair. He
walked over to the cage where Tsuki and Yoru were, they played their
parts perfectly, acting like they had just woken up and wanted out of
the cage, the life form seemed to be agreeable and popped the cage for
them and continued to his bedroom that was just beyond. After closing
the door, Tsuki and Yoru wandered over to the couch and sprawled down.
"So what are we going to do Nemo?" said Tsuki.
"I was about to say that we could transport it
out, but I still think its too early in the day."
Under the couch Nemo adjusted the scanning pad
and noted Viktor's location.
"He is still a good distance away, but we don't
have enough time to wait the life forms out, plus we only have a twenty
second window to get out of here, I'm fast, but with the life forms
still around I am not sure I can make it in time.
"What about if we just transported it to a
thousand places at once, that would throw him off wouldn't it?"
Yoru's comment got Nemo thinking for a minute.
"I think that that will just have to do. Move
upstairs now, I'm going to have to time this just perfect, try to stop
anybody from coming down the stairs."
Tsuki and Yoru trotted over to the stairs and
in seconds they were gone, Nemo glanced at the panel, three, two, one,
NOW! Nemo bolted out from under the counch with pad and tag in hand, he
raced up the stairs, and opened the transporter door. He glanced at the
control panel and programmed the last thousand destinations into it as
fast as he could. He disengaged the tag from the scanning pad and threw
As he waited for the coordinates to load he
glanced at the pad, just five more seconds. He looked at the panel
again, perfect timing, he jammed down the send button and watched the
tag go. He glanced down at his pad, Viktor had paused, he hoped that
was a good sign.
Since everyone was still up, it looked like he
would have to use the long route to get into the control room, it was
certainly a little harder to get at, that he knew as fact, he lifted
the carpet away from one of the middle stairs and pressed himself
between the stair and the wall, but it would be a little less
suspicious to the life forms. As he squeezed his way through the old
half of the garage, and towards the middle of the house, he wondered if
the control room wouldn't be better here. As a huge gust of cold air
seeped through the ground he thought better of it and hurried toward
the opening in the wall. He pried open the heater vent and climbed in,
he hoped that it wouldn't turn on like the last time that he had to use
it, his hair had been crazy for a week. Finishing the last leg through
the heater vent, he pulled open the door next to the control room and
got out, closing the door behind him.
As he looked over at the monitoring equipment
that he had left on, he was instantly surged with surprise. The tags
had been extremely successful, as he watched Viktor move towards a tag,
discover another one, pause for a minute, then move towards the new
one, apparently confounded at yet another tag's signal. Nemo figured
that Viktor had brought a rather limited tracking device, as the sewer
pipes would not allow very much room to do otherwise. As Nemo continued
to watch him flounder for a bit, he glanced at the time, still too
early to go after him, or was it?
Nemo's mind raced, Viktor could be caught
unawares right now, surely Nemo could do it all alone. He looked around
the room for something to aid him, as his eyes fell on the glass case
in the back, he shook his head, Viktor could never merit putting on his
uniform. He hopped over to the storage shelf next to the glass case and
glanced at the available equipment. His eyes fell on two containment
transmitters and the heat goggles, and his trusty scanning pad, they
were just what he needed. He scooped them up into a little carrying bag
that he slung over his back. As he headed for the door, he thought
better of it and grabbed a mini transporter. Setting the coordinates
for Viktor, he powered it up. His mind lapsed to Tsuki and Yoru, they
wouldn't be there to see him catch Viktor, excited at the possible
capture, he dismissed that feeling and reached over to the transporter
and he was through.
Looking around him, he took in his
surroundings, as he pulled out his scanning pad from his little pack.
Right on top of him, couldn't have done any better. He checked which
way he was going and ran the opposite way about twenty feet. He pulled
out one of the containment transmitters and placed it on the ground. As
he pressed the button, it sank into the asphalt. He raced well ahead of
Viktor, now going the correct way and outdistanced him by about fifty
feet, going past a manhole. He placed down the remaining transmitter,
not waiting for it to do what he knew it was already going to do. He
headed for the manhole and pried it up. Looking down into the abyss, he
grabbed the heat goggles from the bag, put them on, and dropped down
in, placing the man hole back into its place gently. When he was
halfway down the ladder, he reached over to his tail and pressed it. An
instant hum filled the air, and as he glanced up, he saw the top part
of the shield near manhole cover. Everything was working as planned. He
set his pad to infrared and glanced at it, perfect, Viktor was in the
field. There was no way out, and Nemo had the only way to deactivate
it. Feeling the confidence surge within him, he put the pad into the
bag and tied it to the railing. The bag would only hinder his movement,
and as small as the pipes were, he needed all the flexibility that he
Finished with his preparations, he dropped down
the rest of the way and looked down the tunnel. About two cats high by
two cats wide there would be plenty of room to maneuver. He made his
way slowly down the pipe towards where Viktor should be, as he
traveled, he noted everything around him, most of the pipe registered
around warm, the ground outside must be a little warm as well. As he
went farther down, he started wondering where Viktor was, every corner
that he went around, he was just waiting for him, but he found nothing.
As he turned another bend, he ran straight into his barrier. Now that
was incredibly bad, where had Viktor gone? Nothing animate could escape
the barrier, he tapped the wall a couple of times, it was sturdy
enough, the wall wasn't the problem. He retraced his steps around the
corner, looking everywhere, trying to find what had gone wrong.
Suddenly Nemo heard a thump and a whoosh, he looked towards the next
corner in time to see a wall of red coming right at him, it bowled him
over and sent him into a tumble. When he got up, he couldn't see
anything out of the goggles, he ripped them off and looked at them. The
flash that had knocked him over had left enough light to see that they
were overloaded. He looked down the tunnel and saw a figure turn the
corner, this was not a good time to meet the enemy. Viktor was sporting
something that looked like a thermal suit and he was pretty decked out,
Nemo wasn't feeling so confident anymore. As the last bit of light from
the wave burned off, Viktor called out to him.
"Can you really think that I would come to you
unprepared?! Your fate is in my hands and at last I can feel your doom
first hand. No more of this running away defeated, tonight, you shall
Viktor had looked pretty decked out to Nemo, he
could barely make out him reaching back to his tail to retrieve
something. Nemo hoped that it was his weapon of choice, he might just
have a chance if it was. He listened in the darkness, crouching against
the side of the pipe and creeping back towards the corner, getting
ready to dodge. Viktor cocked, Nemo froze, BAM, Nemo took a hit to the
shoulder, reeling back against the far wall, this was not looking good,
and he couldn't move his right arm any more. Nemo's mind raced for
options, one regret floated through his mind, he was alone, and it
looked like he might die alone. He peered around the corner with the
light that the stun gun had caused, there was nobody in the pipe,
Viktor had left. Reeling with pain, he stood up and looked closer,
nothing was there. Nemo creeped farther down and peered around the next
corner, nothing. Viktor had left. As Nemo crept down the tunnel, he
suddenly noticed that he was sloshing through water halfway up his
paws, this was not good, he bolted down the tunnel towards the exit and
turned another corner when it hit him dead on. The wall of water
crammed Nemo back down the tunnel and slammed him into the barrier,
continuing to increase its pressure as it continued to pass through,
but the barrier held and Nemo stayed pinned against it. His shoulder
stung and pierced his body with incredible pain, his single regret
passed through his mind once again before he blacked out, he was alone,
no one would be there to see him die.
As Nemo came to and opened his eyes, he was
partially blinded by the amount of light that was around him. As his
eyes slowly adjusted to what was around him, he noticed the night sky
above him with beautiful bright white stars shining in the distance. As
he went to pick himself up, he didn't feel any pain in his right
shoulder, he reached over to it and realized that it was completely
undamaged. He propped himself up and looked around, everything around
him was completely made of a pure white marble, as he looked down at
the floor it had the brightest and purest gold he had ever seen. And it
was everywhere, he looked up and out, it stretched all the way to a
wall in the distance. As he followed the wall all the way around he
discovered that he was in a room four walls and no doors, huge
glittering white pillars were spread evenly across the floor, but as
far as Nemo could tell, they supported nothing on top. As he approached
one of the pillars, he was startled by a voice behind him.
"You've come, I've been expecting you."
Nemo whirled around to find another cat looking
at him, her face and front legs were all white, as well as her two back
legs for about halfway. The rest of her was black, including her ears.
She walked up to him looking at him intently, he looked back, not
feeling any fear, but his unfamiliar surroundings were starting to make
him wonder about some things.
"Where am I?"
"You are where you are."
She gestured over Nemo's shoulder towards the
wall that Nemo had first looked at. He turned and stared in disbelief,
the wall was gone and in its place was an edge. Walking over the edge
and looked down. He saw the manhole, the sewer pipes, the water that
wasn't moving. It was like he could see through it all, his eyes
continued up the pipe, there was something at the end of one of the
pipes, Nemo looked closer, it was a cat curled up and pinned against a
barrier surrounded by the water. Nemo looked closer, it was him, but
that couldn't be, because he was here, in this place, wherever it was.
He looked down at himself, he was here, but how could he be here and
there at the same time? The cat that had spoken to Nemo approached
approached him and paused for a minute.
"The council wishes that you stay, but it is
your choice to stay or not."
Nemo turned around in utter bewilderment.
"The council? Stay? Stay where? Go where? What
am I doing here and there? Where am I? Where is Viktor? What is this
place and why are you here?"
She smiled at him for a minute.
"You have a choice, you can stay here," she
pointed towards the other Nemo, "or you can go there" she pointed up
Nemo peered up the stairs, all he could see was
light, and more light. He turned to his body, its contorted shape and
wounded shoulder. It suddenly started to dawn on him what had happened.
He had died! His regret passed through his mind once again, he had been
alone, nobody has seen him die. He stared at the ground blankly, if
only he had waited, he didn't have to try and get Viktor by himself,
and then to drop himself right into Viktor's hands, that had been truly
foolish. The cat approached him again, stopping a few feet away, never
breaking her gaze from him. Nemo turned his attention to her again.
"Who are you?"
She smiled again, and walked towards the
stairs, suggesting that Nemo follow her. Nemo looked back again at the
other Nemo, he couldn't just leave HQ in this position, he was very
important to this part of the overall war with Viktor and those that
were like him. She paused in her steps towards the stairs and turned to
face Nemo once again. She peered deeply at him for a while. Nemo just
couldn't bring himself to break the silence.
"You choose to stay then?"
He jumped a little bit, he had just been
thinking about asking her what he had to do to go back to the other
Nemo and leave whatever this place was. She smiled at him again, walked
past him and jumped over the edge. Nemo looked after her and saw her
near the other Nemo. She reached around for the tail and placed it in
the right hand. Nemo looked at her, as she finished her work, a picture
flashed in Nemo's mind, one of a very young cat in a uniform just like
the one in his case from a very long time ago. She leapt back up to the
gold floor and turned to him once again. Nemo suddenly realized who was
before him, and hung his head down in pain, biting back whatever
feelings that were coming to the surface.
"I'm sorry Amy." He looked up at her, "I wasn't
strong enough to save you."
He looked back down to the floor, he hadn't
been strong enough to save himself either, always so quick to act and
not thinking about the consequences. He felt her lift his head back up
as she gazed into his eyes.
"You choose to stay then?"
He looked up at her and nodded, she smiled as
she held out her paw to catch a whisker that had just displaced itself
from Nemo's face. She took the whisker over to the other Nemo, placing
it over him. As they both watched, the other one started to glow and
Nemo could see his chest start to move again. Amy leapt back up to
where he was and faced away from Nemo back towards the stairs, as if
anticipating someone. Nemo turned around to look at the stair and
gasped in amazement. At the bottom of the stair sat a young life form
that was completely dressed in white from her head to her foot. She had
a white shawl wrapped around her shoulders, and her bright blonde hair
went down to her waist. Her appearance was brighter than any light he
had ever seen and as he looked closer, the looked back with clear blue
eyes. She stood up from her sitting position on the bottom few stairs
and came over to where Amy and Nemo were. She looked at Nemo for a
while then her eyes turned to Amy.
"He still has much pride in him. Can we trust
him to succeed?"
Amy turned from the life form and looked at
Nemo, catching his gaze, Nemo looked down at the floor to avoid her
searching eyes. The life form was right, his pride had gotten himself
into this mess. When Amy was finished looking at him, she turned back
to the life form.
"This is the third time that he has apologized
to me right after he recognizes me," she turned to Nemo again, "I think
he can tame his pride."
Nemo turned back to the life form as she softly
gazed back at him, she smiled and nodded her head.
"Yes, then I think we can trust him to
Nemo nodded slightly and looked at Amy as the
life form picked her up and held her in her arms. Amy looked at him, as
Nemo started feeling tingly inside.
"Nemo, you won't remember us, but you will
remember what you feel, we will always be with you. Go now, and conquer
what holds you bound!"
As soon as she said that, Nemo knew what he had
to do, he turned from them and leapt over edge, he looked at himself
for a minute and then reached out to touch the whisker that Amy had
placed on him.
Hacking and coughing, Nemo clung to a ladder
that he had managed to grab a hold of after he had deactivated the
barrier. He glanced over at his right paw that was gripping his tail in
amazement, he clenched his teeth as pain shot through his right
shoulder and he wondered how in the world he had managed to do it. As
the rushing water whipped by, it seemed like it would never end, but
end it did. Nemo looked up and saw the manhole at the top of the
ladder, using all the energy he could he climbed to the top of the
ladder and opened the manhole cover. Judging from the moon, it looked
like it had been night for about an hour, he glanced around then
climbed out and moved the manhole cover back into place. As he turned
to leave a voice pierced through the night.
"Twice in one night, I can see my luck is
Nemo grimmaced as he turned to face Viktor with
his stun gun trained on him. After surviving that stupid water in the
sewer, he was going to be captured by Viktor, this had not been a good
night for Nemo. Viktor motioned for Nemo to move towards Viktor's
transport that was sitting right next to him. Nemo did not respond, as
damaged as he was, this was no time to show fear. He glared back at
Viktor, using every ounce of his energy to stay strong through the end.
Viktor motioned again with his gun, pointing towards the transport.
Nemo refused to acknowledge the gesture.
"I guess you didn't learn after the first one,
you will still be useful to me even if you can't use either of your
Viktor pulled the trigger and Nemo cringed
waiting for the impact, what he saw was anything but, the shot bounced
off in another direction a couple of feet in front of him. Nemo glanced
around in amazement as Viktor was knocked back by an invisible
assailant. After Viktor picked himself up and stared around in
amazement, he got knocked back again, he looked back at Nemo and raised
his gun again, firing another shot at Nemo. It bounced away harmlessly
once again and Viktor got knocked back down. As he picked himself back
up, Yoru walked out from behind a tree with a rather sharp looking
weapon. Viktor raised his gun to attack the new assailant when his gun
was knocked out of his hand and he was sent sprawling again. Viktor had
apparently had enough, up went a puff of smoke
and when it cleared, him and his transporter were no where in sight.
Nemo collapsed from sheer exhaustion as Yoru raced up to him. Hearing
Tsuki's voice he glanced off in that direction but saw absolutely
nothing. He blinked several times and still didn't get nothing. Yoru
reached him and looked at his shoulder, putting down his weapon, he
reached to touch it.
"Wow, you seem to be able to hurt yourself in
the weirdest ways possible. Did Viktor get a good shot on you before we
Nemo nodded and gasped in pain as his shoulder
"We need to get him some medical attention
That was Tsuki's voice again, but for the life
of him, he just couldn't see her. Yoru looked at him with a little
pride, he picked up his weapon again and let Nemo see it.
"They sent us some new stuff in the transporter
today, new weapons, new stuff." He gestured over to where Tsuki's voice
had come from, "they even sent her a lighter invisibility pack and
better heat goggles."
Remembering the heat goggles he had left in the
sewer and the barrier devices that he had put in the ground, he
directed Yoru to retrieve them. When he returned, Tsuki, who was still
very invisible, picked up Nemo and they all headed home.
"Did you like my cool little shield that they
sent with the invisibility pack?"
"So that is what saved me, thank you Tsuki!"
"Don't mention it, after all we are all in this
Yoru turned towards Nemo.
"After you left, we got a little worried,
especially when we didn't find you in the control room. What happened
Nemo grimmaced a little.
"I faced off with Viktor, rather, I dropped
myself into his clutches like an ignoramus."
"Did anything else happen down there, because
Viktor came out way before you did, what happened down there?"
Nemo thought about it a little, and shook his
"I'm not sure really, one second I knew I was
going to die, and the next I was hanging on to a ladder after
deactivating the barrier."
"That is sure a long time to hang on to a
ladder" said Tsuki.
"Well speaking of better things, how should we
fix you up this time Nemo? asked Yoru, "should we fix you up so that
you look like a dog got you again?"
Nemo chuckled a little.
"Just get me home, I want to sleep a little
before tomorrow night's mission."