by: E. Kishon "Auf Mäusesuche" and some Garfield
board Ranger-1 during a flight to Texarcota Valley:
Niko came into the rear bay. "There's something going on
with your luggage."
Goose looked up from counting the stored energy cells and made an
angry note on the data pad. Inventary lists are boring to
He dropped the pad
and followed her to the closet where they kept their luggage
during the flight.
noticed it when I took my second uniform out of my bag."
unzipped his spacesac and peeked into it. With a fatalistic look
he turned toward her. "Niko... I must tell Zachary that
we've got a stowaway..."
you, for allowing us to stay here during the presentation. It's
far too crowded in the city. We wouldn't be able to find the time
to do our job with all the spectators around."
Arroyo smiled. "Our pleasure, Captain Fox. Without you and
your team our valley wouldn't even exist now." Barking
behind her caused her to turn. "Oh, Lucky, you know them,
Goose, already on the porch, dropped the luggage and hurried back
towards the animals.
sniffed at the unknown animal visitor and waved its tail in
greeting, but the cat obviously misunderstood the friendly
gesture. With a furious hiss Poss jumped into the lycan's face
and drove his claws into Lucky's sensitive nose. With a
painfilled howl the lycan retreated, staying carefully out of
reach. Poss stood with his back fur raised, clearly acting the
big shot. Then he sniffed arrogantly himself and stalked towards
the porch with his tail raised high above his back.
embarassed look followed the cat, who walked past him and entered
the house as if it was the most natural thing in the
Doc, standing on the
porch, laughed out loud. "This cat really suits you, my
it's obvious who's the boss here now." Mrs. Arroyo said,
watching her lycan touching his aching nose with a paw. "To
which of you does that cat belong?"
me, Ma'am. I'm sorry for the trouble he caused. I didn't plan to
bring him here."
a stowaway," Niko explained.
should have seen what he did during the flight after we
discovered him." Doc grinned, joining them. "Pretty
strange reprogramming of the onboard computers."
simply snorted and picked up his bag.
mean, what he did to my shirts before we found him,"
worry, Goose." Niko giggled. "I'm sure Mrs. Arroyo has
a washing mashine."
Estate at Night:
heard it clearly: a rustle under her bed. Niko sat straight up.
What was that?! It was late in the night and all dark. She
listened intently again. Something's chewing on cloth...
The chewing was interrupted by a faint squeak. A mouse?!
She activated her flashlight, looked below her bed and only just
saw a tiny brown creature slipping through the blanket that hung
down to the floor on the other side and disappearing below her
wardrobe. Clearly a mouse! She shrugged and returned to
her bed. It's harmless.
the rustling kept her awake. "Hmpf." She got up,
concentrated, and activated her badge. Okay, Mousy, time to
get the opinion that it's much nicer outside the house.
badge produced only a faint buzzing.
my night!" Niko glanced at the clock: 02:14 I
can't go to the spaceport now to use the recharger on
I won't get any
sleep with this mouse rummaging around! She wrapped herself
in the big bath robe Mrs. Arroyo had given her and left the room.
beast is keeping me awake with its noise, Shane."
noisy mouse?" He raised his brows.
me, it's louder than you may think." Niko suppressed a yawn.
"I would catch it myself but my implant isn't charged at the
squatted on hands and knees in front of her bed, looked under it
and discovered the mouse near the wall. "Pretty puny."
Goose got to his feet again and stretched. "Unfortunate size
relation between us. Like a star destroyer against an
interceptor." He shrugged. "Stacks the odds in the
want to tell me you can't catch this mouse?!" Niko
stared at him.
"Nah, I can
catch it. It'll just take a lot of effort. Maybe... Our
stowaway'd have better chances to get it quickly." He turned
for the door. "I'll go and get Poss."
what are you planning with your furry friend?" Doc was
already preparing for sleep in the room the three men shared with
the cat. (Needless to say that Poss graciously allowed them to
stay there, too.)
a job to do."
"Niko's got a
mouse in her room that's disturbing her."
Poss is gonna catch it?" The hacker rebuttoned his shirt and
fished for his boots. "This I've gotta see!"
sat Possessor on the floor next to her bed.
raised the blankets. "There's your prey, Poss."
little mouse squeaked, frightened.
never seen the cat move that fast before. "Where is
Goose pointed at the top of the wardrobe, where Poss was visible
as a tiny ball of fur with great green eyes looking down at
"A real hero,"
daddy's little space marine," Goose said drily and examined
the claw marks on his shoulder. "Looks like we're going to
have to catch the mouse ourselves."
room was empty when Captain Zachary Fox finally came to get some
sleep himself. It had gotten pretty late while he checked the
security plans for the presentation one last time.
are those two? He looked around again. And where's
Possessor? That cat should already be scraping my boots.
faint rumbling from Niko's room next door reached his ears...
GOING ON HERE!?" Zachary appeared like a demon of morality
among them. It took him a visible effort to reduce his voice to a
normal sound level as he addressed Niko. "May I asked what
you're doing with two men in your room at 3 a.m?"
are hunting a mouse." Goose looked up from behind Niko's
bed. "If Doc hadn't let it slip between his feet we all
would be back in our beds right now."
Doc knelt in front of the bed. "You couldn't chase it
properly in my direction and"
you really think I'm going to believe that?" Zach
snapped. "And even if I did... nobody else would buy that
Zachary... Just for protocol: right now, there are three
men in my room with me." Niko grinned.
He interrupted himself. "You'd better be able to show me
this ominous mouse."
is it now?" Niko asked.
the bed." Doc.
the wardrobe." Goose.
two stopped when Possessor suddenly jumped down from the wardrobe
and marched purring around Goose's feet.
gone," Goose said calmly.
groaned and rested his face in his hand. "When it comes to
mice, this cat is like a compass that always points
The tapping of
Zachary's boot tip on the floor grew clearly louder.