Colonel Angus MacDougal led an unprecedented strike force of M.E.O.W. agents. Never in M.E.O.W.'s history had so many agents been deployed together. Sure, during the World Wars, all of M.E.O.W. worked on intelligence but the various clouders were all on unique assignments. This was a strike force of clouders One through Seven, Nine through Seventeen, and Twenty-One. That was seventy cats and forty- two humans. Forty – three humans since Dr. Liz MacDougal insisted on coming along. She wanted to be close in case of injury and with that size of clouder, injury was almost certain. The Turkish Government was warned about the size of the force and had agreed to allow it if the humans blended in.
Angus was dressed like a tourist in cargo shorts and tee shirt with a camera around his neck. Liz was playing the vacationing wife. They were posing for pictures with interesting backgrounds. Some were typical tourist photos at the Grand Bazaar but others were at the scene of the explosion with the zoom on max over Liz's shoulder. They found where the explosives had come from, exactly. It was indeed a rival gang. One with Russian ties and a cat cult religion.
A Russian cat cult sounded strange since before Communism, Russia had been Christian but there were people who had given up on both Communism and Christianity. Those people were looking for something and there was a gang with a seeming feline leader, one who was strong, ruthless, and efficient. The cat cult, 'культ кошки', had attracted a couple dozen former military men and women. The took their security seriously and thus the concussion bombs. Their compound was next to the original target.
“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.” Something that was reported that the cat leader Natalia had said, when they had taken over the compound. So культ кошки moved next door to their rivals and started booby trapping the approach. And because their leader was supposedly a cat they planned for attacking forces with cats.
Angus looked closer and saw that while cats had been planned for a force such as he had assembled could defeat the counter measures. It would take most of the humans and half the cats working simultaneously to disable the traps. They would be back tomorrow with the dawn so they had as much time as needed. Now it was time to rendezvous and share intel.
Clouders Number One and Two took off to deal with the intel about the original target while there rest dealt with the культ кошки because an enemy that prepared for an army of cats was the bigger threat. The remaining humans and cats went right to disarming the booby traps. It had to be done simultaneously or they would all go off and kill everyone.
A few hours later, the trap was disarmed and the cats were exploring the compound. Once again it was abandoned but it had been left in a hurry. It took the rest of the day but the compound was searched and the other assets of культ кошки were revealed as well as the next base location. When the majority of the compound had been searched, Clouders Number Three and Four went and joined One and Two in securing the original target.
All the members of the original target gang were rounded up and left to the Turkish authorities. The original mission was completed in the original time frame and the clouders involved went home to other missions. Shortly after their departure, Angus determined that Clouders Number Five, Six, and Seven were better used back at headquarters and on their other missions, as were Clouders Number Fifteen, Sixteen, and Seventeen. This left him with six clouders – twenty- four cats and eighteen humans- a large enough force to face anything that культ кошки could have in store for them.
Angus, Liz, the other humans and the remaining cats packed up for a three and half hour flight to the airport at Nice, France. The humans settled the felines in for a nice nap with easy access to covered water and food bowls and litter boxes should they wake mid flight. Twenty-four cats on a plane was a very interesting proposition. Once the feline agents were settled, the humans found their seats for the flight and tried to get a little rest. There might not be another chance as good for a nap, for either feline or human agents, for a couple days so everyone took advantage of the opportunity.
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