Under Consuella’s guidance the Kittens of Chaos assumed responsibility for reconstruction of the second hand Lun Class ekranoplan that they had seen in the docks. Refurbishing the eight Kuznetsov NK-87 turbojet engines proved way beyond the enthusiastic amateurs’ abilities, so they were removed by a particularly diminutive Kitten in possession of a welder’s mask and thermal lance. A local marine engineering firm was engaged to install the largest Bolinder single cylinder hot-bulb diesel to be found on eBay. Eight foot of twelve inch bore exhaust pipe protruded from the top of the fuselage, topped with a hinged cap that flicked up and clacked every time the piston expelled exhaust gasses. It blew blue-grey smoke rings with a reverberating Donk-Donk-Donk.
Rectangular holes had been cut (by the same enthusiastic Kitten) into the winglets in order to accommodate independently geared paddle wheels enclosed within ornate paddle boxes that had been put together during several of the Kittens’ Rehabilitation Carpentry Classes. The interior had been done out in Boudoir Red plush with a variety of chaise-longues and bean bags, a row of performance poles ranged down the middle of the cabin. Externally, in an attempt to avoid inevitable disharmony, each Kitten had been given a section of the vessel to paint. The result was a riotous mishmash of hues and styles, from painstakingly intricate art nouveau swirls to Jackson Pollock drips and sploshes. n unflattering portrait of an enraged Cthulhu decorated the nose of the plane and Consuella Starcluster had managed to get the colours of her venerated Spanish Republic striped onto the tail. Any possibility that the strange craft could achieve the velocity necessary for ground-effect flight was beyond expectation. She had become a somewhat unwieldy boat.
Armed with four ZU-23-2 “Sergey” 23mm twin-barrelled anti-aircraft autocannon, she was well defended, but without missiles the six fixed-elevation SS-N-22 Sunburn missile launchers, whilst looking impressive, were redundant. Not wanting to waste them, or give the Kitten with the thermal lance an excuse for more destruction, Consuella had them transformed into cannons of the type familiar to fans of Rossa “Zazel” Richter, The Human Cannonball. Powerful springs required teams of Kronstadt sailors with block and tackle to tension them and they would be able to project Durex water bombs, potatoes, grape shot made from real grapes, or even Kamikaze ninjas should any be found, high above the defensive walls of towns like Berwick.
“Is the paint dry yet? Can we go now? ‘Cos we is ready.”
Consuella looked down at a tiny fur ball under a tricorn hat, festooned with bandoleers of assorted ammunition and dwarfed by a Spas combat shotgun. Behind her ranged her compatriots in an imaginative variety of leather outfits (mostly highly inappropriate), harem costumes, saucy nurses and super heroes. She could see at least two Xenas, three Tank Girls and a Bo Peep. Their arsenal was infinitely varied and terrifyingly lethal.
Donk… Donk… Donk-Donk-Donk-Donk.
“Well, eet does sound as eef the Krronstadt sailorrs have herr rready foorr thee off. Come along, girrls. Get yourrselves aboarrd.”
There followed an unruly rush accompanied by much squealing.
“Señora Starcluster, can we give it a name – a proper name like Buenaventura’s Revenge?”
“Destroyer of Worlds!” squeaked the tricorn hat.
“I theenk that weell suit admirrrably, Fifi-Belle; thee Autonomous Battle Crrraft Destroyer of Worlds eet ees. Now, let’s get going. A lust foorrr carrrnage stirrrs weetheen my brrreast.”