“We may have overdone the stink gas. They’re all barking. Say they’re Navy Seals, but anyone can see they’re not remotely blue, and a bit short on flippers to be Phocidae,” reported Kiki la Berserker.
“They do sound hay beet confused, dearrr. But who sent them, hheye should like to know?” Consuella inspected the pile of discarded uniforms. “They arre Amerricanos. Hnow young man…” She towered over one of the prisoners, aggressively thrusting her ample breasts, like the twin warheads of deeply tanned ICBMs, into his face. Hwhy eez thee Hunited States of Aamerreeca eenterrfeering een hour leetle problems?” Her bosoms heaved and the pathetic farm boy, away from home for the first time in his life, whimpered.
“I was only following orders.”
“Thee Nurremberrg Deefence eez a discrredeeted excuse, my frriend. Hyou arre an Imperrialeest Lackey.” Consuella moved on to the next victim. “Hand you, what werre yourr orrderrs?”
“Always the same, sir. We get slapped round the helmet and told ‘Go get the f*ckers!’”
Consuella straightened in exasperation, “Thees ees useless, they arre but minions. Kiki, dearr, get them lost een thee woods, confiscate their boots and turrn them loose.”
Augusta King looked concerned, “I must get back to Les Chats. This American intervention is something we have not accounted for and will have to be entered into the Analytical Engine. The Lizard Kings will not like it, but I may have to go on social media to investigate the extent of US involvement. Have you a geek I could borrow?”
“Do as you must, cariño. When hyou get back to thee convent ask foorr Zelda. Herre hwe weell carrrry thee strruggle to thee enemy. La lucha continua.”
By the time Boz and Phoebles emerged, spluttering from the pool the airship’s crew of Kronstadt gunners and Lascar stokers were sitting around the edge sharing Rizla rollups. The Chinese cooks and stewards of the catering department were playing Mahjong. Next out came Beryl and Dark Flo carrying her rucksack between them and giggling. Finally a paw appeared holding a briar pipe clear of the water and Ginsbergbear, his corduroys rolled up above his knees, waded out of the shallow end.
“How dare you? Get that thing out of my pool… at once!” A daunting woman dressed in tight evening gown and fluffy pink slippers, holding a cocktail glass, was storming down the path towards them.
Bozzy’s mouth dropped open.
“Have you any idea who I am?” the woman continued.
Flo stepped forward. “No. But do you know who I am?”
“I haven’t the foggiest,” said the woman.
“Good,” said Dark Flo. “Now get back inside the house and lock the door.”
The woman, obviously made of sterner stuff than your usual, did not retreat.
“Comrade Matyushenko,” Flo addressed the gunnery starshina without taking her eyes off the woman “are your men carrying side arms?”
The Kronstadt starshina’s reply and woman’s response were drowned out by the buzz of a five-cylinder, 105 hp Armstrong Siddeley Genet Major I radial engine. Ferdy’s crimson lake and gold painted Cierva autogyro descended steeply out of the sky to land heavily on the croquet lawn and taxi towards the pool, leaving deep gouges in the manicured sward.
“Oh, really!” huffed the woman as she stalked back up the path to phone the authorities.
“Which service do you require?”
“There aren’t any.”
“Well, get me the fire brigade then.”
“Put me through to someone in charge.”
“Have you been out lately? Does it look like anyone’s in charge?”