Thursday, November 19, 2009

Jus Lik Breefinz, Onlee Longr

Mom Says:

M led Agent Octavian to the corner of the large, very techy room, where there were a number of plaid couches against the walls and at angles from each other. Siberian Huskies, a German Shepherd or two, an assortment of cats and an incredibly fat Guinea Pig sprawled here and there, clearly taking power naps between perilous missions. Myshov jumped on top of the Guinea Pig, waking him rudely and sending him on his way.

“Pour vous, Madame,” he squeaked to M, who graciously sat.

Octavian leaped up onto the couch and sat next to her, his tail swooshing slowly. He squinted up at her and said, “OK, M, I got to admit, I am confuzzld.”

“Well, Eight, it’s like this. Back in the late 1970s, when the environmental movement was still, er, moving, the bears of the Soviet Union finally unionized and sent a deputation to Moscow, saying that they would rather not be made into bearskin hats, that they could serve Glorious Mother Russian better as spies than as hats. Other animal species—primarily dogs and mice, but also cats and others—became co-signers of this document. Brezhnev eventually broke down and secretly added a group to the KGB, much like Mysiz, although of course not based on a decadent Western model, because that would never happen.”

Myshov grunted.

M continued, “For the next five years, the division flourished, and they built small, hidden underground command posts in many nations around the globe—“

“But not in Merika, rigt?”

M said, “Of course not. Don’t be ridiculous,” in the bored sort of way that made it sound like “Yes.” (Huh, thought Octavian, hoominz!)

She continued, “When Gorbachev came to power, things changed, funding dwindled. Eventually the division was stood down in that particular way of intelligence communities that means that the thing never existed in the first place. But they didn’t actually destroy the command posts, or for that matter, keep track of their former agents. So agents like Myshov here retired and when the wall fell and things were changing, he moved back to Granada, married Timidora, and settled down.”

Myshov nodded. “Dah. Cela est mon histoire. Mais alors qui l'idiot, Yeltsin—“

“Ah, yes. Yeltsin.” M sighed and stroked Octavian’s plumy black tail. “You know, Eight, that after the fall of the Soviet Union, things were dicey for a while. Here in Spain, other things were happening. But the long and short of it is that Myshov here, and a few dogs and humans, decided to reopen this post in Granada to keep an eye—well, not on the world for Moscow, but rather on Moscow and its activities for the world, if you see what I mean.”

“Mebbe. Aftr all, aminalz gots a speshul aminal citrzinship mor than we gots the hoomin peeples nayshun-typ.”

“Quite. So during Yeltsin’s reign, the animal division consolidated its resources, trained new recruits from different nations and reawakened ‘sleeping’ agents across the globe.”

“Kinda lik that polees InnerPol thin?”

“Like Interpol? I suppose so, in a way. And just around the time that the organization was beginning to spread its wings—sorry, that’s a metaphor, Eight, they’re not real wings—around that time Vladimir Putin came to power in Russia.”

“Huh,” said Octavian. “I has herd about him. He has doggees an he’s not verree nice.”

Myshov grunted and muttered in Russian. M nodded. “That’s one way to put it, yes.”

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mai Happee Surpryz!

Mom Says:

Agent Octavian had managed to give himself a fairly complete pedicure by the time Myshov and the human KGB agent had got the fancy electronic door opened, and that was a very good thing, because it meant he was looking his personal best when Myshov led them into a shiny computer headquarters with translucent walls with maps on them and lots of cool equipment. And also, standing next to a Siberian husky, was M.

Octavian immediately began to purr loudly, although he controlled himself enough to stroll over to them, tail held high.

Myshov said, “Eh, voila!”

M turned. “Ah, Octavian. So glad you could join us.”

“M! Whut yu doin heer? Theez gyz is Russhin, yu noe.”

She smiled at stroked his silky black fur. “Quite, but they are what you might call free agents.”

“Huh! All this fansee qwipmint look pertee egspensiv to me.”

“You could also call them rogue agents.”

“Whut! Yu meen they’r erpublikinz?”

The dog turned and barked and trotted away.

“Come, Eight, this explanation may take some time…”

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Nu Resorsiz from Old Emeneez?

Mom Says:

In the shadowy, cavernous room, where the Russian mouse, Myshov, spoke to the uniformed humans, Agent Octavian looked around and began to feel anxious. On the walls, on the humans’ shoulder patches, on the humans’ belt buckles, he saw a familiar symbol: a grey and blue shield, bisected with a gold handled sword. In the middle of the sword was a bright red bear’s paw-print, and on the paw-print, something etched in gold that he couldn’t see properly, but it might have been an X. This looked ominously similar to the picture Jimbond had showed him of the symbol of the KGB, the dreaded Russian secret service.

Myshov turned, saw him peering around, and said, “Que regardez-vous?” (What are you looking at?)

Octavian said, “L'insigne brillant.” (The shiny badge.)

“Ah, cette vieille chose.” (Oh, that old thing.) He turned back to the soldier, finished his conversation, and then beckoned Octavian to follow them through another door. The dull grey corridor’s low ceiling meant that the soldier marched half bent over, while the cat and mouse trotted along comfortably.

Octavian ventured, “J'ai pensé l'a eu une étoile rouge au milieu.” (I thought it had a red star in the middle.)

“Notre division utilise les patte-caractères de l'ours plutôt.” (Our division uses the bear’s paw-print instead.)

“Votre division?” They turned right, into an equally dull grey corridor, which also seemed to be descending microscopically as they moved forward.

“La division des animals, bien sûr.” (The division of animals, of course.)

“Ah! Bien sûr. Une division honorée!” (Ah, of course. An honored division.)

“Mais non.” (But no.) They stopped before a large steel door with one small computer keypad at waist height to the man and another at floor level where Myshov could easily reach it. Mouse and man looked at each other and then turned to tap at the keypads.

The door slid halfway open, then stuck.


Octavian sat and licked his back toes. He was finally getting the hang of Soviet-era technology, and the somewhat irregular rhythm it gave to life. He could probably chew off that third nail properly by the time they got the door working again.

The Russians argued, appropriately enough, in Russian.

Octavian set to work on his toes.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Anothr Rest, But This 1 Not Mandatery

Musashi Sez:

We ar taykin anothr rest today, so mom can werk on anothr essay or 2 an trai to figgr out whut happnz next.

I am maykin the most out of mai furlo an sleepin unner the lamp whyl she writs stuff. Mebbe I'll lern somthin. At leest I will lern about whut she is writin about, which is citeez.

Cors, now I has all this egspeeryens, I cud tell her a thin or 2, but I has lived enugf (almos 21 monfs!!!) to noe that som thins yu gots to werk out fer yerself. Huh.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Beyond the Littul Dor

Mom Says:

When Agent Octavian followed the Russian mouse through the small door, he expected to enter the house’s hallway, with shoes and umbrellas, a mat, and maybe one of those funny hat-trees. Instead, he entered a long, low, sterile white tunnel. The ex-KGB operative Mysh Medvyedovich Myshov scurried on before him, but Octavian had to keep his head a little lower than he ordinarily would because of the low white ceiling, which impeded his progress. The tunnel zigged and zagged in probably quite strategic ways before ending at another small door. Octavian had the feeling that the floor had been angling downward microscopically, so that this door was perhaps several inches lower than the front door, which also seemed potentially strategically significant.

The mouse turned and glared up at him, as if making up his mind. Then he shrugged and said, “Allons-y!” (Let’s go!)

His claws danced over a tiny keypad and the door slid open to reveal a cagelike elevator. Taking a deep breath, Octavian followed Myshov in, and then gripped the floor with tense claws as the cage shuddered its way down the floor at least twenty feet below.

The elevator’s door started to open before they hit the ground, then closed when they were still about a foot above the shiny concrete floor. The elevator shuddered to a halt. “Damski!” Myshov muttered, then turned to Octavian. “Aidez-moi!”

Musashi stuck his head in the space between the cage doors and then forced his shoulders through and leaped out. Myshov followed, landing lightly beside him and then racing ahead into the long, shadowy, cavernous room, past armed and helmeted human guards. In the light at the end of the room, Myshov started squeaking in Russian to one of the humans.

Octavian thought, “O mai, whut hav I gotsd maiself into? This fellr don’t look pertiklr reetyrd to me!”

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Mai Clandestin Meetin

Musashi Sez:

Do yu noe how diffiklt it is to consentrayt wen the smell of fishees is in the ayr all round yu? As I stud ther, mai eyz wuz watterin somthin feers. So it’s no wundr that I didn’t at ferst see the big brown mousee who wuz watchin me off to the syd, unnr the awning.

An sins he is sutch an old hand at The Game, I bet he pland it that wae. Huh.

Wen I see him, I figgr, he is eethr tryin to figgr out if I’m fer reel or he is tryin to get up the curridj to approatch such a big kittee as me. So I sits and licks my front paws, ferst 1 an then the othr, slowlee and methodikul, so he kin figgr whut he wants to do. Then, cayrfullee, I sneeziz, and saunter ovr to wher he sittin an switch on my trustee LingwaTron. Then I say the coupl of pfrayziz I perpayrd in advans:

“Zdrastvuite!” (Hello!)

“Pryvet,” he said. (Hi.)

“Kak dee-lah?” (How are things?)

He snorted. “Kak vas zavut?” (What’s your name?)

“Octavian.” I had rund out of Russhin werds.

He seemed to guess this. “Parlez-vous Francais?”

Mai releef must hav shown. “Oui, un peu!”

“Bon. Venez avec moi.” (Good. Come with me.)

I follrd him in an out of the alleez of Grrranada, movin from the mor hoomin-peeple oriented areas to the mor 4-leg-dryv areas, if yu noes whut I meen. Ther wer mor brokd stones on the ground, but ther also mor innerstin thins to sniff at an more leaves an stuff wher yu cud hyd suddenlee if yu hadsd to.

Yu noe: mutch mor civilyzd.

I follrd him around a curv in the street that led to this weerd tunnel-lik thin that seemd to go unnr sombodee’z hous, wher we caym to a hoomin-peeple-syz door, and nearby that, a kittee or small doggee peeple syz door.

He turnd an kinda frownd at me. (This hard to tell wift sombodee that small.)

“J'ai confiance en toi. Ne me trahissez pas. Comprendez-vous?” (I am trusting you. Do not betray me. Understand?)

“Oui! Oui!”

The dull blak eyz of the littul mousee sent chillz down mai spyn. Finallee he sed, “Suivez-moi…” (Follow me…)

An I follrd.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A Pawz in the Akshun (Har, Har)

Mom Says:

After Agent Octavian and his company of patriotic mammals were so rudely interrupted by unionist interventions, huh, and got some admittedly much-needed sleep and some brushings and pettings and purrings, the freeze-frame that Mysiz was able to apply to his adventure (thanks to cutting-edge 21st century technology) was switched off, and Octavian’s sudden race through Granada continued. The stone-paved streets were hard on his paws, already sore from an evening of flamenco dancing with attractive females, but he flew through the darkened streets until, suddenly, the tiny white mouse, Timidora, disappeared.

Octavian stopped short, sniffed around and then sat down and licked his feet. Once the mouse had realized that he was not with her, she would come back for him. He would wait.

He waited. And waited.

Then he waited some more. He remembered (again) what John LeCarré had said, that spying was waiting. Yup, he thought, and not for the last time.

Then a few hours and a short drowse later, Octavian saw a flash of white and forced himself not to budge. There two feet away, quivered the tiny Timidora.

With forced calmness, Octavian said, “So. S U’r ‘sbnd OK 2 C me?”

She answered, “C! Pero…” and then squeaked a speal of Spanish that Octavian’s collar interpreted as meaning that he should meet this Mysh Myshov at a fresh fish stall not far away.

Timidora squeaked, “No S K L no confía N T, pero...” (It's not that he doesn't trust you, but...)

“Yah,” said Octavian tiredly. “S OK.”

And he followed the directions she had given him until the smell of fresh fish overcame his inhibitions. From plodding he shifted to walking and then to trotting and then to racing. He screeched to a stop before what he might have called a smorgasbord if he had known the word.

But he had not been to Norway or Sweden.

Not yet.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Moratorium or Napatorium

Mom Says:

The Guild of Narrators and the Actors Equity Association are coming down on us for not giving the writers and actors of this blog enough naptime between posts. This is a very serious allegation, and so we are being forced to take some time off. So although we know that we have, once again, left you running along one of our many metaphorical cliffs, we have no choice about the matter if we don’t want our Double B-7 License to Blog suspended. And yes, we are also aware that the rabbits who write this blog probably do deserve to rest now and then. We never said they didn't. They just seemed so gung ho before they keeled over into spontaneous napping that we assumed they were okay. They only had to tell us that they wanted a break.

We regret any inconvenience this may cause our audience, and point out that our protagonist’s alter-ego’s blog, The Musashi Guide, is in good shape with both ahem socialist, interventionist, anti-creative, politico-gopher groups. Huh. So go read that in the interregnum.

Musashi Sez

ZZZzzzZZZ…. Sgnort! kkzzZZZZhkkZZZZ… Si! Si! Olé! Myshkbblblbl…ZZZZZ…..