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3: Tricks and Traps
3: Tricks and Traps


After landing 5 miles outside of the city, Kounn immediately opened the hatch of his airplane, dropping his Tank Blasters to the ground.  Carrying his own rifle with him, he dropped himself to the hard terrain.

But his expectations had been proved false; no giant army had been waiting there to meet him.  And weren't the Pizza Cats supposed to have shown up right about now, like they usually did?  "All Tank Blasters, keep an eye out for those Cats," Kounn snapped.  "When they show up, I intend to have them in my grasp."

Kounn and the Tank Blasters marched along the ground, not even bothering to cover up their tracks.  Even now, he was considering what he would do when he burned the Palace.  Perhaps imprison the Princess when he built a fortress in the Palace's place. <Yes,> he thought, <THAT would be interesting to see what would happen if the city's beloved ruler is seen behind bars....>

Kounn redirected his attention to the path he had been traveling.  He would've thought to have been on the outskirts of the city, by now, but no: he been traveling straight into the forest instead of into the city.

And, as he looked around, he realized he had been standing in the opening of the forest for too long.  As if he was standing in the midst of a trap....

He didn't even see it coming until it was nearly too late.  But even then, Kounn wasn't really expecting an attack.  What he DID see was really surprising in itself.  He saw a rather overweight cat bouncing from Tank Blaster from Tank Blaster, demolishing each one in a matter of seconds.  The cat had fur decorated orange, black, and white, thus identifying it as a calico.

Kounn recognized the figure immediately; he had remembered seeing the photos that Chester had once shown him.  It was Curtis R. Wildcat, the "champion of the Super-Cats", as his uncle put it.

A sudden explosion startled Kounn from his thoughtful stupor.  Curtis was standing in front of him, his sword drawn.  Behind him, the Tank Blasters had been utterly vaporized, smoke trailing from a dozen points in the soil.  "Ready to have some fun, Kounn Gorgon?" the cat hissed.

Maybe if he begged for his life, Kounn decided, he could change Curtis's mind.  "Please, don't destroy me," the rodent begged.  "I have many family members who would gladly pay for my release!"

Curtis just smiled, unfazed.  "To quote a great bounty hunter, 'You can't love life too much.'  I'm about to save myself the trouble of having to deal with your smart-alek relatives."  He muttered something else----sounded like "hybrid-trash coward", but he wasn't sure.

With that, the feline's sword lengthened---quite noticeably, Kounn mused----and he began spinning it ceremoniously.  A gray haze seemed to form in mid-air.  Curtis leaped into the air and screamed a battle cry: "867-5309!!!" With that, the calico slashed downward, releasing the gray energy blast he had used many times before.

-------------------

Kounn spiraled off over the horizon, screaming long and loud.  For a moment, Curtis thought he heard Kounn yell something like "Kounn's blasting off again!" just before he exploded; and for the first time in an hour, the calico finally breathed easy.

But there was a mystery to solve.  Why had Kounn, who was apparently insane, taken over that airplane and a dozen of the weakest Tank Blasters he had owned?  He couldn't think of another reason that he had...besides the fact that the Cheese family had arisen again and was planning a hostile takeover.  What Kounn had done would only be the dressing on the salad.  This was definitely something that he would have to investigate if he was to complete his mission.

Putting Shape-Shifter away, Curtis began the slow task of searching the jet's interior for more information.

---------------------

Felonia stood guard at the door's entrance.  Just recently, she and Chaos Kitten had made it to Gorgonzola International HQ to meet with the new representative of the Cheese family, Chester Korbi.  At the moment, Chaos was busy explaining something to him.

"All right, so here's the plan," Chaos Kitten slowly explained to Chester Korbi.  "You use those codes I provided to secretly tap into the assets of the United Nations and the whole country.  You can use the stolen funds to slowly build up enough of an attack force to slowly turn the rest of the continent to your control."

"Good, good," the skeletal Korbi said, nodding his head.

Chaos pointed towards a code on the bottom of his list.  "I'll use this last code here to tap into the treasury of Little Tokyo.  The one above it Shana Cheese can use to steal money from the Pizza Cats.  You getting all of this?"

"Oh, sure....steal money from the Pizza Cats," a gray fox from Michigan said sourly.  "That's sure going to do you a whole a lot of good if Curtis sees right through the plot and turns it into flaming debris.  Back in 1996, I plotted to destroy his Mansion, and that attack....which I had thought up for a whole year....FAILED miserably because of those jet-blasted Super-Cats!  They were just too strong and too fast for me to stop them!"

"Which is why just stealing the money from them isn't my ultimate goal," Chaos shot back.  He continued talking to Korbi, saying: "I want them to die a slow and agonizing death.  If timed just right, the drain of assets from their accounts will lead Princess Violet to view Curtis as a martyr and traitor.  Without Curtis or either of the Pizza Cats branches, we have ourselves an opportunity to sweep away the world's defenses and conquer them!"

"I've heard that one already," Korbi said.  "When I ran for mayor of New York City in the last election, I said repeatedly I couldn't be stopped.  That was when those cursed New York Pizza Creeps destroyed my campaign car, causing me to lose by a landslide."

"The only thing vhat cheered him up vas Vat Bunny Costanza's elimination of the Vhiladelvia Vizza Cats," commented a rather spiffy-looking rat from Russia, "if vhat Korbi told me was correct."

"This time, it's true," Chaos hissed.  "Get Shana Cheese busy on this thing at approximately midnight 2 days from now.  I want to get set on my takeover as soon as possible."

"So our alliance is agreed?" Korbi offered, extending a hand.

Chaos Kitten grasped it.  He may be a warrior, but he certainly wasn't averse to having a good partnership.  AND he was honest, like Quarter before him, so Korbi didn't have to worry about him being a backstabber.  A lot of evil people before them had fallen as a result of them backstabbing someone; he wasn't willing to take any more risks.  "Agreed," he said quietly.  Releasing Korbi's hand, he signalled for Felonia to vacate her post by the door.  "C'mon, cousin.  Let's get started on the start...."

"....of Operation Pulverise Pizza Cats!"

He and Felonia walked out the door, leaving Korbi and the rest of the Cheese crime family staring after them.

Felonia broke the silence first as they walked through the empty hallway.  "That was certainly a pleasant experience."

"I wouldn't count on the rest of it being pleasant," Chaos Kitten said in reply.  "From here on, we've got to start building up forces of our own to take down Little Tokyo.  It has to done quietly, though; knowing Curtis, he probably spied on Quarter each time he brought up something about destroying those blasted Samurai.  It could also explain how he was able to take out Quarter's special nuclear silo."

"So, where do you plan to start this massive buildup?"  Felonia scratched her arm, then slipped her hand back in her shirt pocket.

"There's a deserted outpost not far from the 200-mile island that the city is situated on," Chaos explained.  "Curtis's routine patrols don't extend that far out away, because he likes to hang around the Palace and bother the Princess a lot.  Neither of them will have to worry about bothering the other once I'M done."

Felonia trembled, just noticeably, at the sound of the laughing that followed; but slowly, she settled down and laughed a little bit, herself.  "All right, then," she said.  "Let's get to it."