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I resume watching from my hidden place by the rickety bridge.
It is obvious that all this military traffic is one way. It comes from the Source Gates via the stepping stones to the Temple of Justice.
There is some 'toing-and froing' here but I can just see that within the Temple a mass of helmets and pikes.
I need to get closer, but I do not know of any apertures in that area.
Just while I ponder a small phalanx of heavily armed troops all dressed in white uniforms pass down into the Bridge area, mill around and then return into the Temple.
Who are they and where have they come from?
Then I have the brilliant thought!
My huggie jacket is also in pristine white and the perfect match!
So, keeping my options open and trusting that my magical boots will get my out of trouble if necessary I stand up, hold my broom in my hand as if it is a weapon, saunter back up the path alongside the enemy and into the Temple!
The guy that I march next to does not seem in the least surprised at my sudden appearance. In fact he asks if I have a "smoke"!
I am inside and undetected!
Within - the room has been cleared of its former occupants and the desk that was a pile of stacked books.
In its place is a very large and detailed map of the Castle Realm, illuminated in different colours with many arrows and squiggles.
Several high ranking officers are arguing and poking the map in various places. I cannot understand their lingo, but it is certainly not from our shores!
The one also dressed in white is pointing at the Torture Chamber so I sidle back to see what is going on in there.
The Executioners Chair and all the nearby skeletons have been pushed to one side and a team of very ugly Troll like characters are heaving and scraping at the back wall in an attempt to enlarge a large hole.
There are pools of fetid saliva in front of them as they work.
No it is a tunnel!
It is then that I notice that ALL the troops clad in white on this side of the hole are very small!
And beyond the ever widening hole there are hoards of VERY LARGE men waiting to pass through.
We have to stop this disaster or the Realm will be overwhelmed by these foes who I now begin to understand are coming from outside our Realm and using the Cloud City and the Bone Kingdom beyond just as a transit passage.
What is going on?
But no matter, I cannot do any more here and must return immediately to inform the others and form a Cunning Plan to stop them coming!!
No sooner said than done!
I return to the Tea Room and am bawled out by my Cap’n before I can get a word in edgeways!
With the speed of Dragon Flight, we are closing in on the Blood Red Fires when Captain's Granite Stone like features turn from Stoic white into an instance shade of Brilliant "Purple RED!!!!" "THAT DING DONG DOOR NOPPING IDJOT He screams so loudly it causes Snow to jerk backwards in response!!" "We have to head back pronto Pup cause PTG has done it again!!!" "Understood Captain Randy understood....Sigh........With Captain's Frost taking point and Snow and I right behind, my mind begins to wonder when our Dearest Friend Roo will be with Our Special Room once more....She was, besides Captain Randy of course, the only one who could try to keep our Mischievous Chief Sweeper-Upper toeing the Mark when needed........While I kinda think it's a Chuckle to see what PTG comes up with.....Please don't let Captain Randy I told you that OK? It will be just our little MC Secret....
As I exploded I forgot Snow was not used to hearing me go off like I do at times so both Frost and I said she would get used to it and Pup great job in controlling Snow sudden dip .
Brulee Jewel continue on with the mission it is to important for all of us to leave because of my idjit door knob and I have to go back and see exactly what went on.
Be careful my beauties and just observe ..... ** Brulee in his very deep baritone voice responded ***** LEADER **** they flew on and Pup Snow Frost and I went back to The Tea Room me wild with rage and wanting to ripe PTG apart.
When we landed in the open field I made a mad dash to the Tea Room with Pup at my heels ,
A thought struck me and I stopped so fast Pup slamed into me,,,, sheesh Cap I wish you would stop that ,, and I replied what have I told you lill one ?
Always be alert that way things like this would not happen no when we get inside do not say a word understood?
She cocked her head as only Pup can and said ookay.
I took a very deep breath and slowly exhaled then entered and found PTG and his table.
He was ready for me to go off on him but I changed tactics and said good to see you back safe and sound PTG now before you answer *my friend* think very carefully on what you tell for it depends on you staying in one piece as my second in command or ==== spend the rest of your days in a very very different huggie jacket and in a very very dark cold damp room and NO special Tea nor Opel/s cooking.
Now go ahead as I pull out a chair and sit down.
PTG with a shaking voice explained where he was why he was and how he was ,, what he saw and what he heard ,, how he just barely escaped back here to report what he found out.
My anger went from worry to down right fear what he just told me was not expected.
The small fighters he saw in white I am sure are renegade dwarfs and maybe a few moles to dig.
Oh this is not good not good at all.
We have been expecting trouble but this is trouble with a capital T.
This tells me that Murk and uggie daughter Arabella have teamed up with The Rat CEO and his uglier Tax Collector but it is who they have joined forces with that has my mind spinning..... THE WHITE OGRE and the forces of evil from the Bone Kingdom.
One thing for sure is that the tunnels they are expanding will have to be huge and that will take time that in turn gives us time to come up with an attack plan and to stop them.
First things first,,,, I have to call us all together so every one knows what we are facing .
I take my Amulet and call a general meeting here in the Tea Room tomorrow at 7 am it is of the upmost importance you all be here ,,,,,,,
Frost Snow air patrol,, Smoke Sheba border patrol Brullee Jewel continue your mission and report to me when you have the information........... Charlie put the anger aside this is not the time nor place you and the critters are needed our lives and our very existence depends on all of together to fight this one.
PTG is siting waiting to get blasted his face covered in nervous sweat ,,, Sorry PTG to keep you hanging like that but you did a fantastic job ,,, I do not like HOW you did it as you know my #1 rule no going any where alone but you got a lot of info and made it back good job good job.
Opel brings us a snack for it is way past dinner ,,, lets eat and calm down and try to get some sleep and be here at 7 okay?
Head spinning stomach aching I head to my cottage knowing I will not sleep.
SPICE SPEAKS TO MY MIND YOU MUST WAKE NOW. I HEAR THE CAP CALL FOR A MEETING IN THE MORNING. I TURN ON MY AMULET TO REPLY, "APOLOGY EXCEPTED" I SAY IN A RATHER SLEEPY VOICE. BY THE WAY CAP, PTG DID NOT GO ALONE, NOT REALLY ALONE. GHOST PUP WAS WATCHING OUT FOR HIM. HE REPORTED BACK WHEN PTG RETURNED. I TOLD HIM TO KEEP AN EYE ON THE GOINGS ON. TO LET ME KNOW IF THEY GET REINFORCEMENTS OR MAKE A BREAKTHROUGH WITH THEIR TUNNEL. " CAP, " I WAS MORE AWAKE NOW. "I THINK IT IS NOW TIME TO STUFF THE THE TUNNELS WE DO NOT USE WITH THE DEAD AND ROTTING PORK THAT IS LYING ABOUT. IF THEY BREAK INTO THOSE TUNNELS THEY WILL HAVE TO CONTEND WITH THE MESS. JUST SHOVE THEM IN AND COLLAPSE IT ON OUR SIDE. THE SMELL WILL WARN US IF THEY REOPEN THEM. JUST A THOUGHT. NOW I AM GOING BACK TO SLEEP. SEE YOU IN THE MORNING."
We were no sooner go through the Tea Rooms doors when came Opal baring a large tray filled with two large bowls filled with Her Hearty Stew and platters of fresh baked Multi Grained loafs of bread. Yummm! As She past me by on Her way to deliver the tray at Captain Randy and PTG's table She whispered, "Yours is waiting for you in the Kitchen Pup..." "But why can't I eat with the Captain and...... ?" "No sass now young'un...an do as I ask...ya hear?" "Yes Mam...Sigh!...Entering the Tea Rooms large bountiful Kitchen I spied a large bowl of Miss Opals Savory Stew with a small loaf of bread beside it...."Now you know Pup when the Captain is ready for you to know whats going on between Him and PTG He'll tell you and get you all prepared and ready for whats ahead....That's the way it has always been with The Captain and it always will be..." Hummmm....I can understand that Opal, it was the same as between Him and My Grandpa Joe..."Hey Opal!" Have you heard anything about how Angel is faring in Her Training lately? I sure do miss Her! "After I finish with this here Stew can I hang around just in case Captain Randy might Have need of Me?" You certainly can Pup! Why there's a whole load of dishes over there in the sink just a calling your name...hee, hee, hee!.....
As PTG and I were trying to figure out a plan and keep everyone safe while we come with a plan of attack .
You know I depend on you when I am not here right PTG? and yes I do go off when you or anybody takes off alone.
But I am responsible for all of you and to make sure you are all safe and happy so can you stop being a stubborn block and let me know if you have ideas or want to check something or do a quest?
I hold up a finger before he cane speak and point to the Amulet>>>> we both hear Charlie and both smile as she sounds sleepy as hell and almost human not saying she is not but man what a temper and a mouth that would shame a sailor but we all love her and she is so loved and needed by the critters.
We both look at eatch other and both say at the same time,,, PERFECT
What a great idea and it is perfect and gives us more time to know exactly what we up against but i will tell you this ,, I know The White Orge and we have crossed paths once before .
I can not explain how vicious and crazy he is ,, he once killed one of his own and ripped his head off and kicked his body to his Hounds and they like savages ripped that body to shreds,, and why ? all because he failed in stopping us.
So he would do anything and join anyone to get to me and anyone around me for revenge.
That is one reason I go off when I hear one of you go any where out side of our area alone safety in numbers first and foremost and second this is all new to you all and you not being military it could cost you your life.
I held out my hand and as we shook I ask him did you know Charlie sent Ghost with you??
He looked at me ,,, are you kidding me Cap'n Bob he is a ghost pup so how in >> oh never mind stupid answer to a stupid question.
Okay go get some sleep and we meet back here at 7 am .
I call out OKAY PUP LETS GO TIME FOR BED BIG DAY TOMORROW.
She was at my side before I could say another word, so I just threw my arm around her shoulder and laughed come on you silly Pup.
Opel? Are you still awake?
Of course, just setting the dough out to proof for tomorrow.
Oh good! Can you take a look at this? I found it in the SSEC (Super Secret Emergency Cookbook)...and instead of having the name of the person who wrote up the recipe, it has the paw-print of a mole...
Recipe for the Erasure of Unwanted Tunnels: Use the Star of Renovation to combine the Idol for Rock Master and Lord of Water. Fuel the combo with Nature Force. When ready, use it to edit the Underground Manifest. Once all is prepared, create The Roc and have it deliver the edited manifest to the tunnel for erasure.
Hmmm, definitely not the kind of recipe we need in the kitchen. We should give it to our dear Captain at breakfast. He'll know who is best qualified to hold onto that.
Sounds good to me...Good Night Opel.
Good Night Katt.
Hush now Dear Friends...We have to be extra quiet as we observe Pup "tip-toeing" past Captain Randy's sleeping quarters. No, no..Shes not sneaking out against Her Captain's orders! Pups just going to a Favorite Place in the Tea Room where She sit quietly and ponder over Yesterdays Happenings..."Precious Kitty!......I see that you still love visiting Granny Fletcher's Comfy Chair by it's every burning Fireplace don't you...Meow, Meow...Purrrrr, Purrrr..."Yes Precious, Even though Granny can't be here physically, She still cares and observes over all aspects of the Tea Room and The Ambulate Captain Randy gave Her and Grandpa Joe keeps them always in the "Know" also!!" "Squeak, Squeak!" "Meow, Meow!" "Yes Precious, I do hear our Dear Friend Angel trying to "Sneak up" on Us!" Hummmm...I can't help but wonder Dear Friends what will now happen between Pup and Her Sparring/Training Partner now......
With a silent nod from Precious Kitty Pup assumes a crouching stance beside Granny Fletcher's Chair....Hummm...now I wonder which of Captain Randy's techniques of battle will Pup choose? Wow! It's the "Swatting Behind" one that left Pup standing at meals for some time afterward. Can hardly wait to see what comes Dear Friends.....