“I think they’re getting closer,” wheezed Scarlet.
“I know they are,” gasped Kitty, “We must keep running.”
“I’m not a tree.”
“I’m not a tree,” replied the tree. The Kittens looked on in disbelief as the lower portion of the stunted conifer began to wriggle alarmingly. All of a sudden, out burst Kiki la Berserker. She was wearing a red and black paisley bandana round her forehead just below a bizarrely unfashionable parting where the bullet that opened this chapter had ploughed a furrow through her fur. There were black camo-paint stripes below her eyes and she had on an extremely grubby singlet, belts of ammo over her right shoulder and a Bren gun slung by a webbing strap from the left. She rushed past without another word and some yards down the forest path, screaming her bloodcurdling battle cry, opened up with the Bren. The barrel kicked and writhed, a stream of spent cartridges pirouetted from the breach, shattered branches and mortally terminated wood pigeons rained down from the canopy.
“Should we help?” asked Scarlet.
“You’re joking!” replied Kitty as a couple of stray rounds of .303 whined past, “I’m not going anywhere near her. Anyway, by the time she’s emptied her magazine into the undergrowth you won’t find a Corporatist Insurgent within a mile of here. They’re not suicidal.”
“OK, I suppose. Do you know where we are?”
“Nope, hopelessly lost. Looks like there’s a track up ahead though. If we can get clear of these woods perhaps we can find our bearings.”
And thus the two diminutive kittens, separated temporarily from their comrades fighting a guerrilla war behind the British front line, walked out of the wood into the fresh clear air of a sunny Jersey afternoon. Ahead was a large barrow shaped mound topped by a fortified chapel complex. Surrounding them was a circle of heavily armed Shaolin warrior nuns.
The mother superior waved the dangerous end of an AK-47 at Kitty.
“Drop your weapons. Face down on the ground, both of you. Paws behind your head.
“Now, who are you? And what are you doing at La Hougue Bie?”
“We’re lost,” sounded a bit pathetic coming from Kitty.
“Who are we? Who the hell are you?” mumbled Scarlet into the dust.
“We,” it was still the Mother Superior speaking, “are The Lesbian Brides of Our Lady of Perpetual Self-Doubt.”
“Actually, we’re not all lesbians,” chipped in one of the shaven headed acolytes, only to fall silent under the withering glance of her commander.
“Well, Corporal Fisher and I are soldiers of the Battailon Durruti, under the command of Generalissimo Starcluster and loosely affiliated to the Résistance Crapaud.” Scarlet risked raising her head a little and glared up at the nuns. “We demand to be treated with dignity, as prisoners of war.”
“Perhaps it is a little premature to assume who is the prisoner of who.”
“Shut it!” Kiki la Berserker stepped from the woodland cover, aiming her Bren from the hip, fresh notches carved into its butt, dried blood smearing her face.
As one, the nuns turned to face Kiki. With a ringing “Hrraaah!” they adopted the aggressively defensive Fa Jin Pregnant Paws posture.
“Really?” Kiki spoke scornfully.