Rated PG for mild peril and drug usage.
I do not own any characters here that already belong to Cosgrove Hall Films. Judas Franklin and Sabrina Panthera are strictly my characters, and should not be used without my permission.
Author's Notes:Before I offer an introduction to the story, allow me to explain the drug usage warning. The drug in question has no particular name; it's simply a chemical used to render one of the characters (perhaps a hero) physically and mentally inept for a while. It's just a tool used by the villains, which isn't really out of the ordinary, so please don't flame me!
Anyway, I mentioned in The New Recruit that many DM fans have given the White Wonder a female counterpart for a new partner. Yet, I rarely see Greenback find any new henchmen! So, I thought I'd turn the tables and see what happens when I add another member to the villain's team…
Stiletto sauntered idly about the Frog's Head Flyer. His boss, Baron Silas Greenback, had mentioned to him numerous times that the old machine could have used some tuning-up, and since he had nothing else to do, why not surprise the Baron?
Sighing, the crow henchman got on his knees and crawled underneath the control panel. He had already known about a few of the faulty buttons, so it would have been best to start there.
Suddenly, a blaring buzzer alerted Stiletto. He tried getting up, though hitting his head on the control panel the first try. Once he was finally able to stand, Stiletto pressed a small blue button. "Si, Barone?" he inquired.
"Stiletto," said the hoarse voice of Baron Greenback, "I need you to come to my office immediately. There's a new face here I'd like you to meet."
The Italian hench-crow nodded. "Si, Barone," he answered, turning to exit the Frog's Head Flyer…
About fifteen minutes later, Stiletto managed to make his way to the Baron's office. He pressed the large red button outside the huge metal doors. The doors slowly opened, and he stepped inside the office as the doors slammed shut behind him.
Greenback turned to face his trusted henchman. "Stiletto," he addressed, "what kept you?"
Before the hench-crow could answer, the Baron interrupted him. "No matter," he continued, gently stroking Nero- his pet caterpillar. "Stiletto, there are going to be a big change around here. I have hired another… assistant, so to speak."
To say the least, Stiletto was somewhat confused. Who was this new henchman? Was he going to replace him??
The Baron noticed the confusion in his henchman's eyes, thinking it best to explain. "Tell me something, Stiletto- what would you use to distract a dog and get rid of a mouse?" he queried.
Stiletto shrugged. He had absolutely no idea what point Greenback was trying to get across!
Sighing, the Terrible Toad shook his head. "A cat, Stiletto," he spat.
No reply came from the hench-crow.
Frustrated, Greenback allowed his forehead to rest in his hand as Nero grumbled in annoyance. Sometimes I wonder why I even hired that boy, the Baron thought, looking back up at his Italian henchman. "I'm sure you have noticed our increasing trouble with Danger Mouse and that blasted new recruit of his! Between the wretched rodent's tactics and the dog's brute force, our strategies have been faltering. However, I have found a way to counter that advantage. Observe…"
The buzzer sounded once more, and a new figure strode inside. It was a tall, dark cat! Her long limbs, sharp claw-like fingers, and deep gray fur made her seem unusually intimidating. Her all-black attire- tanktop, trousers, belt, and army boots- only added to her frightening appearance.
Both Baron Greenback and his pet chuckled lightly, sweeping his hand towards the cat. "Stiletto, meet your new partner and my new bodyguard," he introduced, "Sabrina Panthera."
Sabrina crossed her arms and approached the Baron. "Yes, sir?" she inquired, with a sharp tongue and piercing tense eyes.
The Terrible Toad grinned. "Ah, yes," he remembered. "I have managed to conjure up a new scheme. Our plan- to capture the Tower of London, and seize the Crown Jewels. With the entire building in our possession, the world will soon be mine! Mine!"
As Greenback laughed heartily, delighting in his genius, Sabrina came closer. "How do you suppose we do that?" she questioned.
"Don't you worry about that yet, my dear," the Baron responded. "Once our plan has been put into action, you'll know what to do." With a wave of his hand, he dismissed his two associates.
Stiletto had planned to go back to the workshop to further repair the Frog's Head Flyer. However, with the arrival of this Sabrina character, his plans had suddenly changed.
The Italian henchman stood outside the Baron's office, glancing at the female feline out of the corner of his eye. She just stood there, with no place to go or nothing to do. She seemed, if anything, listless.
Sabrina turned to face the hench-crow. "Don't you have to be somewhere?" she spat.
This was obviously not a good time for Stiletto to confront his new colleague. He began walking away, towards his workstation. The Frog's Head Flyer wasn't going to repair itself, anyway.
For one reason or another, the henchman soon realized that he was not alone. He turned around… and saw Sabrina. She stared coldly at him. "What?" she snapped.
Sighing, Stiletto continued making his way towards the workshop. He felt a but uneasy having that cat follow him around like that. It felt as if she were stalking him!
Finally, the Italian hench-crow couldn't bear with his anxiety anymore. He stopped walking and turned to face Sabrina. "Ai, why do you-a following me like-a that?" he questioned.
The feline shrugged. "Well, I have no where else to go," she replied. "I'm still new here- I don't know all the ropes like you do. I was kind of hoping you'd let me follow you around awhile, so I could get used to this place."
Relieved, the henchman nodded. "Si, si," he agreed. "I can-a show you everything around-a here."
Chuckling lightly, the lady cat grinned. "Hey, thanks," she responded.
As the two partners walked through the corridors together, Stiletto glanced at Sabrina. "You know," he said quietly, "you don't-a look so aggressive when-a you smile like-a that."
Sabrina smirked. "It's a side I don't like to show often," she admitted. "Really, I want a lot of people to be afraid of me- I want them to know I've had a tough life, and that they can't mess with me." She sighed, adding, "Only, it would be nice if I had at least one friend. It's actually kind of scary going through life on your own, you know?"
Of course, the hench-crow had little idea of what the female feline had gone through. He came from a relatively caring family, and it was more his own fault that he turned to a life of crime. He knew he could have gone back home- his family would forgive him. It was just that the Baron had been so good to him, despite all the abuse he had to endure. Not only that, but Greenback had threatened to turn the boy over to the authorities if he even considered leaving his services.
Stiletto halted for a moment, extending his hand as a greeting gesture. He wasn't normally so inviting, but he had decided to make an exception in this case. "Ai, amici?" he asked.
Smiling, Sabrina accepted his kind gesture and shook his hand. "Friends," she replied.
After a moment of awkward silence, the two confidants each let go and continued down the hallway. They both agreed, especially Stiletto, that this was the beginning of a beautiful relationship…
Meanwhile, on a lone street-corner in Mayfare, inside what seemed to be an ordinary pillar-box, the world's greatest secret agent, Danger Mouse, was hard at work training his new recruit, Judas Franklin. While the American college student did have interesting tactics, it was high-time that he found a new way to defend himself.
Two masked figures, each armed with a sword, skirmished masterfully back and forth. They had been battling like this for quite some time, but neither of them seemed at all tired. The clattering of their weapons only added to the majesty of their combat.
Suddenly, the larger of the two combatants tripped and fell onto his back. In an attempt to regain his stature, he tried pushing himself upward, only to be stopped by the tip of his opponent's sword resting at his throat.
With a heavy sigh, the larger figure took off his protective fencing mask. "Alright, alright," said the German Shepherd. "I give up."
Chuckling lightly, the other figure removed his mask, appearing to be none other than Danger Mouse himself. "Judas, you can't quit so easily," he explained. "No foe would be so merciful with you as I am. You're lucky that this is mere practice- not at all like combat in the field."
During all this, Penfold was seated at the couch. He had been sipping a cup of afternoon tea as he watched the exciting match. Upon hearing the White Wonder's words of advice, he nodded. "He's right, you know," he agreed, setting his teacup aside.
Judas growled, tossing his fencing sword aside. "Ah, who uses swords anyway?" he complained. "All the dangerous criminals use guns!"
The agent raised an eyebrow. "You might be surprised," he pointed out. "In my experience, I have run across a few villains whose weapon-of-choice is a sword."
"Yeah- emphasis on 'a few'," Judas spat. "Like this is ever going to be useful out on a mission!"
Unconvinced, DM sighed and turned his head. "Penfold, come here and put away the fencing equipment," he ordered, then drawing his attention back to the recruit. "In any case, the skills you learn here may very well be useful on a future mission- perhaps when you least expect it."
The recruit rolled his eyes. "Sure, whatever," he mumbled.
At that moment, a blaring noise alerted them. The three companions turned to the video screen as Colonel K came into view. "Ah, Danger Mouse," he addressed. "We've got another mission for you- it's a bit difficult, but we're sure you can handle it."
Danger Mouse smirked. "Yes, go ahead," he said.
The colonel nodded. "Yes, of course," he continued. "Well, Greenback is up to his old tricks again. This time, he's taken the whole Tower of London hostage!"
Confused, Judas cocked his eyebrows. "The whole tower?" he queried.
"Yes, Judas- the whole blooming tower!" Colonel K snapped, banging his fist on the desk.
Needless to say, the agent was quite surprised. "Good grief," he muttered.
In any case, Colonel K continued. "He's not alone, either," he added. "He's brought a bit of company with him."
After the colonel had struggled for a few minutes to find the right button, a new image appeared- this one, a surveillance camera video. One of the animal "beef-eaters"- a raven, to be exact- stood at his post at the gates to the Tower of London. A dark-colored cat strolled up beside him, holding in her hand what looked like an ordinary bottle of perfume. Suddenly, the raven fainted, and the cat had cast the body aside.
Not a moment too soon, Greenback and his henchman Stiletto wandered up to the gate. The cat allowed them inside, following them with the raven's body in-tow. At a last glance, the cat saw the video camera and blacked out the tape with a swift punch to the lens.
DM analyzed the video footage carefully. "Rewind the last bit, then pause it," he instructed, coming upon the menacing face of the dark-furred feline once more. "Now this is interesting- Greenback has found himself another henchman. Who is she, though?"
One glance at the feminine feline and Judas had completely forgotten everything else. "Tell me about it," he muttered. "I'd like to get to know her better… a lot better…"
Rolling his eyes, Danger Mouse slapped the young recruit across the face. "Judas, shush," he snapped as Colonel K appeared back on-screen. "We have a lot more to worry about-"
Colonel K nodded. "Yes, like the Crown Jewels," he pointed out. "Most likely, Greenback wants his hands on those. You've got to stop him, DM!"
"Right away, sir," the agent agreed as the screen flickered off. "Come, Penfold, Judas."
Immediately, the trio of heroes jumped onto the couch and descended into the garage. Sliding into the Mark III, they sped off after the Terrible Toad.
Judas turned to DM briefly. "So, this whole Crown Jewel thing," he began, "that's kinda important to you Brits, isn't it?"
Unamused with Judas' choice of words, Danger Mouse glared at Judas out of the corner of his eye. "Judas… shush!"
Clearly understanding the agent's frustration, Judas looked away. Well, he told me to 'shush', he reminded himself. This is kind of a big deal to him… maybe I better shush before he shushes me…
Meanwhile, hidden deep within the Tower of London, a familiar foe cackled evilly. "Yes," he uttered, "all is going according to plan. Once I have the Crown Jewels in my possession, I can be guaranteed riches and power." He laughed once more, adding, "Today, London- tomorrow, the world!"
At that moment, a dark-furred feline entered the room. "All the guards have been locked away, and the gates have been taken care of," she assured. "Anything else you want done, sir?"
"Not for the moment," Greenback replied, gently stroking his caterpillar Nero. "Just keep an eye out for the authorities…" He stopped for a moment, sneering in disgust. "…and that meddling Danger Mouse."
With a quick nod, Sabrina turned and left the room. She had been told many times- by both her boss Greenback and her new friend Stiletto- that Danger Mouse was indeed a force to be reckoned with. She had also been informed of his slightly inept assistant (a hamster by the name Penfold) and their new recruit from the US (a German Shepherd dog named Judas). Still, being a cat with a considerable mean streak, she was positive that she could make short work of the agent and his confidants.
As Sabrina made her way through one of the towers, she did not notice one door that had been left open. She had searched the entire area at least three times, so she naturally assumed that she had captured every last beef-eater. An open door made no difference to her, and so it would seem…
At last, Sabrina had made it to the tower. Exhausted from the walk upstairs, she slumped down into a corner to catch her breath. "If this becomes our base of operation, I'm making sure that someone puts an elevator in every one of these watchtowers," she complained. "All this running around is making me thirsty."
Then, someone knelt down next to the dark-colored cat and handed her a water bottle. "Here- take-a this," he said.
Without even looking, Sabrina snatched the bottle from Stiletto's hands and swallowed hastily. "Thanks," she gasped, wiping the droplets away from her mouth. "This whole mission is such a workout… it's almost like I'm in boot-camp!" She carefully looked over her Italian friend. "How many years have you been doing this?? No offense, but you're pretty scrawny for someone whose been working for this guy longer than I have!"
The hench-crow laughed a little. "You get-a used to it-a after a while," he answered, standing and returning to his post.
After having rested for a moment, Sabrina followed Stiletto and stood next to him, scanning the area for any peculiar activity. "So, let me get one thing straight," she began. "We don't have a good salary since Greenback keeps most of the dough for himself, so we have to steal our own food and our own money." She glanced at him and cocked her eyebrows, adding, "What do we get out of this again?"
"He no turns us-a in," Stiletto replied, almost bluntly.
Sabrina thought for a moment, then nodded slightly. "Yeah, that's it," she agreed, squinting her eyes a little. "Tell me something else…" She pointed towards the horizon. "That bright yellow car headed right for us… that's not a good thing??"
Shocked, Stiletto whipped out a hand-held receiver. "Ai, Barone," he alerted. "It's-a Danger Mouse!"
To say the least, Greenback was not at all please. "What?!" he barked. "Get out there, you fool! Stop him!! You too, Sabrina!"
Sliding the radio back into his coat-pocket, Stiletto hurried down the stairwell, followed closely by Sabrina. Finally, the female feline thought to herself, let's have some action around here!
Meanwhile, Danger Mouse had come to the south end of the tower. He parked the Mark III carefully against the wall and stepped outside. "Remember, Greenback and his henchmen could be anywhere, so it's important that we keep an eye out," he advised, glancing at his two companions. "Penfold, you're coming with me. Judas, I hope you can handle this alone-"
Before DM could finish, Judas cut him off. "Don't you worry about a thing," he assured coolly. "I'm a mature, capable adult- I know exactly what I'm doing."
The agent sighed and rolled his eyes. I don't know which part of that statement to correct first- he's not mature, capable, or an adult, and he doesn't know what he's doing! he thought. Just the same, I ought to let him off his leash once in a while; it would give him an opportunity to experience this mission on his own.
Danger Mouse nodded and turned to leave. "Alright, Judas, but be careful," he warned. "Penfold and I are going to look for the Crown Jewels- hopefully, Greenback hasn't gotten to them yet. You may wander the grounds as you please, but watch out for anything suspicious. If you find anything peculiar, come and find me; otherwise, we'll meet you at the north end of the tower in an hour or so. Understood?"
Judas nodded in reply. "You got it," he replied.
As DM sighed and left with Penfold, Judas stayed behind and thought for a moment. "North end… north… north…" he wondered aloud. "Which way is north??"
At that moment, Judas remembered something from his past. "Wait a minute- the Wolf Cub Scouts!" he exclaimed. "If I can recall a few survival tips from my Wolf Cub Scout training, I might be able to find my way to the north end of the tower!"
The recruit seated himself on the hood of the Mark III. "Now, if only I could actually remember some of those tips," he pondered, scratching his head in troubled thought…
Stiletto and Sabrina hid themselves behind a secluded corner in the courtyard, trying to figure out a plan. "Then it's settled," the female feline concluded. "First, we separate the mouse from his two companions. Then, we lure the two numskulls into a corner and capture them. Finally, we trick the mouse into saving his little friends while we get our hands on the Crown Jewels and make a run for it."
Before Stiletto could respond, a shrill beeping sound alerted him. He took the hand-held receiver out of his coat-pocket and listened intently. "Si, Barone?" he inquired.
"Stiletto- where are you??" the Terrible Toad hollered. "Get rid of that wretched rodent! Then, I want you to pilfer the Crown Jewels and bring them to me at once!"
As Greenback's voice faded out and Stiletto slipped the radio into his coat-pocket, Sabrina gently laid her hand on her friend's shoulder. "I'll take care of the mouse and his little friends," she assured. "You'd better go and swipe the jewels before the Baron bites your head off."
The Italian hench-crow stood there for a moment, his eyes wide. He wasn't too comfortable with her choice of words. Why would the Baron bite his head off??
Sabrina laughed. "It's just an expression- to bite someone's head off means to yell and scream at someone and have no mercy," she explained, turning to leave. "He must do that a lot, huh?"
Nodding in reply, Stiletto waited as he watched his friend leave. After an awkward pause, he realized that he too needed to get on with his duties and headed for the heart of the medieval tower…
Judas groaned in frustration as he walked in circles. "It shouldn't be this hard!" he whined. "I've got to remember something from my Wolf Cub Scout training that'll help me find the north wall!!"
Then, a thought came to the young dog's mind. "The sun!" he exclaimed. "The sun rises in the east and sets in the west! If I can figure out east and west, I can find north!" He looked up into the sky and whined. "Oh, it's noon! I can't tell east from west!!"
As Judas struggled to find an alternative method, a dark-furred feline waited at the entrance to the tower. She smirked and made her way over to the American recruit.
Frustrated, Judas dug deep into his pockets and found nothing. "Oh, why would I be carrying a compass anyway?!" he muttered, then remembering another method. "Moss- it always grows on the north side of trees and rocks. The north wall might be covered in moss!"
The recruit was about to run off and find the north wall when he bumped into a passer-by. "Sorry," he apologized, standing. "I've kind of been having an off-day, so I'm-" He stopped, gazing at who it was he had run into.
The female feline smiled. "That's alright," she said, adding a sly grin. "Accidents happen, right?"
"Yeah… accidents, accidents," Judas mumbled, helping her up. "Say, have I seen you somewhere before?" He snapped his fingers at what he thought was a logical answer. "You're June's Bunny-Hop centerfold, aren't you??"
Unamused, the dark-furred feline brought out what seemed to be an ordinary perfume bottle. "Step aside, dog," she snapped. "The jewels are ours. Now quit meddling and maybe I'll spare you."
Of course, Judas saw no threat. "What're you gonna do?" he spat. "Spray me to death?? Oh, spare me the horrifying stench of lilacs and springtime!"
In an instant, Sabrina raised the bottle to Judas' face and sprayed the fragrant chemical. "Shows how much you know," she remarked. "It may smell nice, but it's designed to dull your senses enough to leave your motor skills completely useless for the next 24 hours. Too much can make you delirious, perhaps even lead to insanity."
Judas staggered for a moment, attempting to stand on his own. "Yeah, right," he slurred. "I'm fine… totally, and completely, fine." He wandered away a few feet, looking up into the sky. "Wow… look at all the shapes and colors…" With that, his eyes rolled up and his tongue fell out as he fainted dead away.
Sabrina chuckled as she grabbed Judas by his arms and began dragging him away. "Now, with the dog out of the way, I can track down the mouse and his hamster," she uttered. "I'll just have to hide this guy for now…"
Danger Mouse and Penfold quietly stepped into the main courtyard. So far, there had been no sign of Greenback, Stiletto, or any new henchman the Terrible Toad may have hired. Even little Nero had cleverly covered his tracks!
Curious, DM turned to look at his assistant. "I don't like the looks of this, Penfold," he informed. "We'd better split up- we can cover more ground that way."
Penfold, however, wasn't about to leave the safety of his chief. "Um, chief," he said, "could I split up and come with you?"
"No, Penfold!" the agent quietly scolded. "Really, what has gotten into you? We've been here many times before- there's nothing here you don't know about already."
Just the same, Penfold remained unconvinced. "Oh, but, chief," he whimpered, "what if-"
Rolling his eyes, Danger Mouse held Penfold's mouth shut and guided Penfold to a familiar corridor. "Alright, here's what I want you to do," he began, extending his hand to indicate the magnificent gems which decorated the room. "I want you to keep an eye on the Crown Jewels. Don't let anyone come near them, but if all else fails, come find me. Understood?"
Though still uneasy, Penfold nodded. "Yes, chief," he agreed.
Satisfied, DM returned to the main courtyard, to see if he could gather any clues as to the Baron's whereabouts. Of course, he had little idea that he was being watched…
A sudden swift movement behind him alerted the agent. He spun around to see who it was, yet no one was visible.
A smirk crossed the White Wonder's face; he was far too clever to fall for that trick. Someone was here, and he had a good idea who it was.
"Save your energy, mouse," a female voice snapped. "You're no match for me."
Laughing, Danger Mouse slowly turned around. "And just who might you be?" he queried.
At that moment, DM's eyes fell upon the tall, menacing figure of a dark-furred female cat. "I'm Sabrina," she answered, glaring at the agent, "and I am your worst nightmare."
Though obviously startled, the White Wonder held his ground, showing no fear. "Hardly," he remarked. "I've dealt with cats before, and even wilder species. You're no match for me."
With that remark, Sabrina lost herself in rage, attempting to pounce the White Wonder. Fortunately, the agent had moved quickly enough to avoid her fury as he dashed off, hoping to detour the feline. Good grief! He thought. This might be a bit trickier than I realized…
Meanwhile, Penfold sauntered nervously through the corridors where the Crown Jewels resided. He dawdled along, scanning the room for Greenback or any of his henchmen, not paying any attention to where he was going.
Suddenly, Penfold accidentally walked into one of the stands, knocking one of the Crown Jewels to the floor. It was a large crown, crafted from many precious metals and gems, fit only for the king and queen.
Penfold took a moment to look at the magnificent crown. He glanced around the room, to make sure no one was coming or going, then swiftly placed the crown on his own head. He smiled with great pride; it felt empowering to merely wear the crown!
On a whim, Penfold strode gracefully about the room, as if he were the king. He felt so powerful! "All hail Penfold!" he announced. "King of En-"
The hamster was quickly interrupted when the crown, obviously a bit too big for him, slipped down over his head. He sat down on the floor and quickly struggled to get it off.
At that moment, a new figure entered the grand hall- Stiletto! He dragged a huge burlap sack behind him as he began pilfering the Crown Jewels, one by one.
As the Italian henchman began filling up the first sack, his mind drifted. He thought often of Sabrina- she was making his job a lot easier. While he did enjoy wrecking havoc on the British agent, she had the brawn and predatory tactics he lacked. Besides, it was nice to have someone to talk to besides the Baron. She was more open, casual, and friendly…
Caught off-guard, Stiletto had tripped over something he didn't see. He stood and picked up what he had stumbled over. It was a relatively heavy crown, but it was beautifully decorated with precious gems.
Shrugging, Stiletto tossed the crown into the burlap sack and continued filching the Crown Jewels. What he didn't know was that he had picked up more than just a crown…
In another part of the medieval fortress, Judas laid on the floor in a torpid slumber. "Mommy, I dun wanna go to school today…" he moaned as he began to awaken. "Wha… what happened? Where am I?" He blinked and rubbed his eyes, only to discover that his vision was blurry. "Oh great- I can't see!"
Though obviously out-of-sync, Judas was not about to sit around and let that cat get away with her despicable deed. He held onto the cracks in the walls and gradually pulled himself up. Even though he was quite wobbly on his legs, it was enough for him to stand and move around.
With great difficulty, Judas then walked towards what seemed to be a door. He jiggled the handle somewhat, only to realize that he was out of luck. "Oh, man!" he snapped. "The door's locked! I don't believe this!!"
Suddenly, a click from the outside alerted the recruit. Without warning, the door swung open and he fell face-first onto the floor. Someone had unlocked the door!
Despite the fact that he was in great pain, Judas raised his hand and gave a thumbs-up. "Thank you!" he cried, though muffled by the floor.
The recruit heaved himself upward. "I'm okay," he uttered, struggling to stand on his own as he wobbled through the corridors. "I feel fine. I can walk. Don't anybody worry about me."
At that moment, Judas had accidentally slammed his head into a door-post. He stopped for a moment to get his bearings and rub his aching head. "Ow," he groaned. "Stupid door-post! That hurt!"
Sadly, this did not keep the American recruit from hitting his head on more door-posts and other various foreign objects as he continued to make his way through the medieval castle…
Danger Mouse darted through the courtyards. For quite some time, Sabrina had been hot on his trail. Though he always seemed to be two steps ahead, he knew that he couldn't keep running; however, she was still somewhat too clever for him to throw off. He had to detour her…
Suddenly, the agent halted at the base of a tall tower. He had brought himself to a dead end!
Stopping abruptly, the female feline slowly approached DM. "I have you now, Danger Mouse," she hissed, an evil smirk across her face. "Trapped like a one-eyed rat!"
Of course, the White Wonder hadn't run out of tricks just yet. With the touch of a button on his wristwatch, tiny suction-cups attached to his fingertips. He turned around and jumped, casting his hands onto the stone surface of the tower and climbing upwards. This ought to do the trick, he thought, grinning in satisfaction.
Below, Sabrina stood and watched the spectacle, shaking her head. "Cute, DM, very cute," she remarked caustically. "There's just one thing you've forgotten…"
With that comment, the dark-furred cat hurled herself upon the wall, grasping the surface with her claws and ascending the tower. "I can climb, too!" she spat.
Just the same, Danger Mouse remained calm and eventually made his way to the top of the tower. He wiped the beads of sweat from his brow as he peered below… no Sabrina!
Naturally, this turn of events unnerved the agent. "Now that is strange," he commented. "Where could she have…"
At that moment, a tap on the shoulder alerted DM. He slowly turned around and saw the female feline! "How long did you really think you could avoid me?" she queried, taking out a large perfume bottle. "They say that the right perfume can turn a man into a blithering fool. Let's find out, shall we?"
Before either of them could say a word, the White Wonder toppled back and fell to the ground. He laid still for a moment, collecting what sanity he had left, and stood. He looked around cautiously- again, Sabrina had eluded him. Where was she now?
A voice from above contained the answer. "Danger Mouse!"
The agent titled his head upward. He smirked and shook his head in amusement. "Of course, cats are very good at climbing," he murmured. "It's getting down that they seem to have trouble with."
As DM sauntered off to find Penfold and Judas, Sabrina glared down at the British agent. "Ooh, wait 'til I get my paws on that Danger Mouse…"
Stiletto sauntered up the stairwell, hauling a heavy burlap sack behind him. A good number of the Crown Jewels had been taken from their rightful places, tossed into the sack, and dragged through the courtyard and up the stairs. If anything, it was great exercise.
Finally, the hench-crow managed to make it to a secluded room. He let himself in, with the burlap sack in-tow. He set the bag aside and moved forward, gesturing to the shadowed figure before him.
The Baron turned to face his henchman. "Stiletto, did you manage to filch all of the Crown Jewels?" he queried.
A sly grin crossing his face, Stiletto nodded eagerly. "Si, Barone," he answered. "Every last-a one."
"Excellent," Greenback replied. "Now, to-"
Suddenly, the Baron was interrupted by the alarmed growling of Nero, his pet caterpillar. He squeaked and hissed, crawling inside the bag. After a moment or so, a loud scream alerted the Terrible Toad and his Italian hench-crow. Sure enough, the bag tipped over and the Crown Jewels fell to the floor.
As Nero crawled back over to his master, a rather large crown caught Greenback's attention. It shivered and rattled before a familiar, though quite unwelcome, visitor showed his face. "Ooh, my head," he groaned.
Greenback chuckled lightly. "Stiletto, find Danger Mouse," he ordered. "I have a proposition for the wretched rodent…"
Meanwhile, a strange figure quietly strode about the courtyard. After an unfortunate run-in with that female feline, he was doing his best to avoid any trouble. He couldn't handle her alone, with all his coworkers missing for some peculiar reason, and while he tried to contact the outside world, all the exits had been blocked-off and the phone-lines cut. It was his worst nightmare- trapped at work!
At that moment, a loud crash alerted the raven beef-eater. "Ow!" a male voice complained. "Oh, man- that smarts!"
Turning around, the guard saw a tall, lanky German Shepherd dog. His eyes rolled a little and his tongue lolled out of his mouth as he lay on the ground next to an overturned trash-bin. "That stupid cat," he slurred. "If she hadn't sprayed me, I could still walk good."
Concerned, the raven ran over and helped up the poor kid. "Cor blimey," he muttered. "What's happened to you, boy?"
"Nothing," Judas replied, standing wobbly. "I'm fine, sir. Really."
The beef-eater sighed and shook his head. "You're an American, aren't you?" he remarked, taking Judas' hand. "Just the same, you might want to come with me."
Of course, Judas was still his usual dogged self, despite the drug. "I dun think so, pal!" he spat. "I've gotta get out there! DM needs me!"
DM?The guard thought to himself. Danger Mouse?? That pussy is using a far more potent drug than I realized- the poor boy's gone delirious!
With a heavy sigh, the raven dragged Judas inside a rather large building, despite how much the dog resisted. If anything, what he needed now more than anything was rest. The drug was obviously strong, but hopefully it would wear off with a day or so. Besides, what choice did he really have??
Finally, the beef-eater laid Judas beside a display of medieval armor. "Now, listen closely, boy," he advised. "As soon as this Crown Jewel rubbish is done and over with, I'll call for help. For now, just stay here and rest."
As the raven guard stood and strolled off, Judas struggled to stand. "Rest, he says," he mumbled. "How can I rest when DM needs my help??" He sighed, glancing down at his shaking legs. "Aw, who am I kidding? I can't even stand good! How am I supposed ta help?!"
Then, the recruit glanced at something out of the corner of his eye. "Ah-ha," he uttered, slowly approaching a tall suit of armor. "Hey there, buddy. How's about you and I go out and have some fun?" A crooked smile crossed his face as he reached forward with his hand…
Danger Mouse wandered about the courtyards of the medieval fortress. "I just don't understand it," he muttered. "I've searched the Tower of London top to bottom, and still no sign of Penfold or Judas." He continued down an eerily silent walkway. "Hello? Penfold! Judas!"
"You won't find them out here," a harsh voice snapped.
The White Wonder turned about and saw the dark-furred feline. "Your little dog is feeling a little out-of-sync, and the hamster may as well be in our hands now," she informed, reaching for her back pocket. "You know, it would save you a lot of energy and me a lot of stress if you would just cooperate. So, sit back and relax- the guilt of failing to protect the world should fade once the drugs kick in-"
Another voice soon interrupted their conversation. "Sabrina, hold back a moment," a familiarly hoarse voice intervened. "I have a proposal for our dear friend."
As Sabrina withdrew her perfume bottle, DM turned once more and immediately recognized his arch-nemesis and his companions. "Greenback," he hissed quietly, then raising his voice to an audible tone. "Alright, Baron- what have you done now?"
The Baron chuckled, gesturing to his Italian henchman. "Stiletto, perhaps you would lead the way?" he suggested, glancing at the agent. "I have a little surprise for you, DM…"
Not a moment too soon, Stiletto had lead the group inside one of the buildings. Within one of the rooms was a display of medieval torture devices, including a rather large cage hanging from the wall. Of course, the cage was not completely empty…
"Penfold!" Danger Mouse shouted. "What are you doing, hanging about?"
The hamster stood and ran to the side of the cage, ecstatic to see that his chief had come to rescue him. "Chief!" he squealed. "Oh, thank goodness you're here!"
Of course, the White Wonder was still somewhat upset. He shot a glare at the Baron. "Alright, what have you done with Judas?" he questioned.
Sabrina stepped forward. "I'll take this one," she remarked nonchalantly. "I found your little doggy and… hm, how to put this gently… put him to sleep. My little drug is enough to leave him physically and mentally inept for a good long time."
Despite the threats, DM remained steadfast. "And the Crown Jewels?" he inquired.
Greenback laughed evilly. "Therein lies the problem," he explained. "Penfold here knows exactly where the Crown Jewels are hidden- I cannot simply let him go!"
Danger Mouse sneered. "You fiend!" he exclaimed.
Tense, Sabrina looked over to the Baron. "Listen," she stated, taking out the perfume bottle, "as exciting as this sounds, let's just get this over with."
Before anyone could respond, the sound of metal clanging on the stone floor caught everyone's attention. The noise seemed to get louder, as if the iron-bound figure was coming closer. DM tilted his head a little, to get a good look at what seemed to be coming their way.
Penfold screamed suddenly. "Oh, crumbs!" he shouted, cowering in the corner of his cage.
The figure itself was quite menacing. It was, in fact, a grand suit of armor that seemed to be moving on it's own. It held a grand mace in one hand, and with the addition of a heavy sword dangling at its side and a strong enough physique to hold the mace with one hand, just about anyone would want to run away and cry for their mummy!
Breathing heavily, the knight swung the mace at the villains. "Fear me, puny mortals!" a deep voice warned, swinging the fierce weapon once more.
Acting on impulse, Sabrina aimed the perfume bottle at the knight and sprayed the noxious chemical in his face. The more she sprayed, the more angered he became, until suddenly she ran out; her efforts all for naught, she sheepishly cast the bottle aside.
The Baron, of course, was none too happy with this turn of events. "Sabrina, what are you doing??" he snapped.
Irritated, the female feline turned to the Baron. "Well, I'm sorry," she spat. "How was I supposed to know that my toxic tonic has no effect on other-worldly creatures from the black abyss?!"
It was at this moment that Greenback and his companions realized that they had backed up against a wall. They gazed up at the horrifying knight, holding his mace high. "Leave this place, and I shall spare your miserable lives," he began, swinging the mace back down again. "Should you stay, however, you shall die!"
Terrified, the group of villains slowly stepped aside. "Come, Stiletto, Sabrina," the Baron advised as his two companions nodded in reply. "I have the sudden urge to be somewhere else!" With that, they dashed off without a trace.
With Greenback gone and the Crown Jewels safe, the agent leaped for the hanging cage and unlocked the door. "Here, Penfold," he called over. "Now, let's see if we can find the Crown Jewels, and Judas."
Of course, Penfold was not so willing to leave his protective hideaway. "Um, Chief…" he muttered, pointing behind DM.
Turning around, Danger Mouse saw the knight facing him. The knight bent down, dropping his mace and holding out his sword. With great pride, he shouted, "I am Judas- Defender of England!!"
As the heavily armed knight crashed to the floor, the White Wonder and his hamster assistant rushed to his side. "Hold on a moment," the agent murmured, slipping off the knight's helmet. "Judas?!"
The German Shepherd dog let a somewhat drunken smile cross his face. "Hey, DM!" he slurred. "I almost didn't make it… ya know, with the drugs an' all… but I did it! I got here, and I helped you out! Plus… I got to use all that sword stuff you showed me earlier- wasn't that cool??"
DM nodded uneasily. "Ah, Judas, do you need any… help?" he offered.
Judas nodded. "Yeah, I think so," he replied. "Man, I don't know what kind of stuff she put in there… so many colors, shapes… an' the room is spinning…" He stopped, slamming his hand on his stomach. "Oh, I think I'm gonna be sick."
"Steady, Judas," Danger Mouse advised, leaning the American pooch against the wall. "I'll call headquarters and see what they can do to help. In the meantime, sit back and relax."
Penfold gazed up at the agent as they left Judas alone in the building. "Cor, chief, is he going to be alright?" he asked worriedly.
The White Wonder sighed. "Probably," he answered, giving Penfold a sidelong look. "Mind you, however, that this is exactly the reason why one or two martinis once in a while is all the liquor you or I can stand…"
"And that's how it happened, Colonel," DM explained. He had returned to the pillar-box shortly after the strange escapade, but this was taking place a few days later. Between returning the Crown Jewels to their rightful place in the Tower of London to Judas' medical expenses to filter out the drugs, the case itself had fallen somewhat behind.
Just the same, Colonel K was pleased to hear that the Crown Jewels were safe. "Good show, DM," he congratulated. "It's too bad that Greenback escaped- oh, by the way, our undercover agents have found out about that new bodyguard of his."
The agent listened closely. "Go ahead," he pressed.
The colonel took a moment to review the papers he had received moments earlier. "Ah, yes," he remarked. "Her name is Sabrina Panthera. Apparently, she's from the states as well- New York City area. Baron Greenback has no doubt heard of her feral tendencies- she was locked away after being convicted of a brutal murder."
That took the White Wonder by surprise- he knew from experience that she was a hunter by nature, but the fact that she had been locked away for such a serious offense unnerved him. "Good grief," he murmured. "I'll have to keep an eye on her from now on."
Nodding in reply, another thought came to the colonel's mind. "Ah, DM- how is Judas doing?" he inquired. "Is he recovering well?"
Danger Mouse smirked a little. "Why don't you ask him yourself?" he suggested, pointing to a nearby chair.
Judas leaned back comfortably, breathing from the oxygen tank given to him by the medical team. "Hey, Colonel!" he shouted, waving.
Colonel K smiled. "Judas, are you feeling any better?" he asked. "The medical team is a bit concerned with your health- are you feeling well enough to go on another mission or will you need more time?"
With a simple nod, Judas turned his head. "Hold on, let me check my surroundings," he answered, taking in the environment of the flat. Everything appeared normal, but through his eyes he could also see a small spotted elephant trot across the room while purple snakes hung from the ceiling and a little stick figure doodled pictures on the wall.
The recruit shook his head and looked back at Colonel K. "I'm sorry," he muttered. "I'm going to need a little more time."
"Understood," the colonel replied. "Over and out."
As the video-screen flickered off, DM turned to Judas and gave him a dubious look. "Judas, I realize that you are still recovering, but how can you tell when you need more time??" he questioned.
Irritated, Judas sat up. "Okay, if you see a small spotted elephant running around, then maybe I am recovered!" he snapped.
Rolling his eyes, the agent turned away. "Don't be ridiculous," he mumbled. "Honestly- a small spotted elephant-"
At that moment, Danger Mouse stumbled and fell to the floor. He sat up, seeing nothing he could possibly trip over.
The American pooch shrugged. "I told you," he remarked. "It's that small spotted elephant!"
DM sighed heavily. Perhaps he's not the only one of us who's gone delirious…
Meanwhile, hidden away in Greenback's secret hideout, Stiletto had returned to a familiar place. He was back at work repairing the Frog's Head Flyer, and he had gotten much closer to finishing the job. Still, it was quite tiring and he needed rest, too.
The Italian henchman slinked out from underneath the Frog's Head Flyer, wiping his hands with a ragged cloth and taking what few tools he had. He often did his best work alone. His family had recognized him as the lone wolf, so to speak, and even Greenback acknowledged that the boy's best work was done in private.
Sighing heavily, the hench-crow put his tools away, then heading down a long dark hallway. It was odd how he had been alone for all these years (Greenback, of course, being the sole exception) and had not once felt lonely. Occasionally when the Baron would ask for Leatherhead's assistance, it was a good time for him to bond with the only creature he truly considered a friend. Now with Sabrina, his own little world had grown so much bigger, and for the first time in a good long while, he felt… lonely.
For a moment, Stiletto stopped. She was only a new crew member, yet she had really grown on him. He felt so unsure why… perhaps it was how vicious she often was towards others, and yet with him she seemed calmer. Perhaps it was that she was a female; he had spent so much time around Greenback, Leatherhead, and even little Nero that perhaps he was unsure of how to approach someone of the opposite gender. Whatever the reason, somehow he was lost in his own thoughts because of it.
A hand rested on the henchman's shoulder. "Hey, Stiletto," a casual female voice said.
Caught off-guard, the Italian hench-crow jumped slightly. He turned around, smirking a little. "Sabrina," he addressed.
Sabrina smiled. "I was coming back from a meeting with the Baron- talk about torture," she uttered. "Still, I guess I can handle it. So, what have you been up to?" Her words trailed off for a moment as she looked at one of his hands. "You're a mechanic?"
Stiletto nodded. "Si, si," he answered. "Barone- he's-a got a few inventions. I help-a him out- repairs, you see."
"That's nice," the dark-furred feline replied, pausing for a moment. "I'm sorry- this isn't easy for me. I've never been social, so I don't talk too much. Still, it's the price I pay for being who I am." With a light shrug, she sauntered off.
It was then that the Italian henchman made a bold move. He followed Sabrina, eventually catching up to her. "Ai," he began, "maybe I could-a show you around a little more."
The female feline smirked. "I'd like that," she remarked. "We did have to leave a little early; I don't think I've gotten the full tour yet."
As the two of them continued down the hall together, Stiletto soon realized something- the moment she had accepted his offer, that lonely void seemed to disappear. Again, he could not understand what happened, but now he hardly seemed to care. All he knew was that perhaps this subtle friendship was worth more than anything he could hope to steal, and for now, that was all that really, truly mattered…
The End!! =^-^=