"Wait here," I barked. "If I'm not back in eight hours, have the humans drive you home. Then contact Supreme Commander Brody of the Armed Revolutionary Forces and tell him to initiate Operation Ichabod. He'll know what to do from there." Wendell nodded intently before becoming distracted by his tail and chasing it. Could I really trust the pup with such an important mission? At this point, it seemed, I had no choice. I exited the car and stealthily made my way from the outer parking lot to the naval brig's security checkpoint. Using skills I had picked up while boarding with a ninja family on Mount Shibutsu, I slipped past the guards unnoticed. The shadows provided cover as I made my way to the commanding officer's quarters. Then I pawed at the door.
Adm. Jacobs looked surprised when he saw me on his welcome mat, but he invited me in. I raised my paw to shake his hand. Being a cat owner, he seemed impressed. "We have to talk," I barked. "I must see Bella tonight." The admiral tried to dissuade me. The Chihuahua is too dangerous, he told me. "No one enters her holding block. No one."
I nonchalantly pushed my beard to the side and took hold of the medallion I wear around my neck, causing it to swing from side to side. My bark flowed in an even, soothing tone. Within minutes, the admiral was under my hypnotic spell.
Back outside, I traveled another 200 yards to the prison entrance. I presented the guards with a handwritten note from Adm. Jacobs. Though they seemed taken aback by its message, the guards complied, opening the sturdy steel door. One escorted me inside, where we passed through another thick door and then another. Then the guard moved back toward the doorway. "This is as far as I go," he said, his voice breaking. "You'll find the Chihuahua up there." He pointed ahead and then hurried back through the door, slamming it shut behind him. The final barrier unlocked with a thud and slowly moved to the side, urged on by the straining whine of electric gears. I moved ahead, the damp concrete cold on my paws. After passing a series of empty cells, I reached a windowless concrete wall. From there, the corridor split off to the left at a 90-degree angle. I turned and walked past three more dimly lit cells.
What I saw next chilled me to my last rawhide bone.
To be continued ...