The brilliant scientist, Portage McPeeve, does not want to take over the world.
He’s discovered a way to travel the stars, using them as gateways into other realities. With his Gateway Manipulator, he hopes to rule all the worlds of the multi-verse with an iron fist. However, when his beloved kitten becomes lost through the machine, he does not hesitate to cast plans for multi-world domination aside; instead, he follows her through the cosmos – encountering zombies, higher education for Supers, Greek gods, and killer ninjas along the way.
Will Portage find Mrs. Bumblefrost before it’s too late?
The army of Hades, once through the portal had dispersed to their separate stations, with only a small retinue of guards accompanying Lord Hades back to the palace. Queen Persephone had handed the dark kitten to her glowering husband and waved her guards away. She had never gone for the same pomp and circumstance as her husband, and had thought to avoid any uncomfortable situations by walking ahead.
At the palace gates, she met the faithful Cerberus, sitting and whining happily at her arrival. His tail-stub -no, actually his entire buttox – waved in an ecstacy of delight when she patted his head and called him a “good doggy.” After instructing him to go to “his room” and latching the kennel upon Mrs. Bumblefrost’s arrival, she gave him a femur on which he munched happily.
“I put the dog away, sweety,” said the Queen when her husband walked into the throne room.
Charles looked around in wonder. “Not bad,” he said, surprised by both the thought itself and discovering that he said it aloud.
“Thank you,” said Hades, setting the cat on the floor and mounting his throne once more.
“Would you mind if I excuse myself, hon’?” said Persephone from the doorway. “I have a few things to take care of before bed.” Approaching the throne, she whispering in her husband’s ear, “-if you know what I mean.”
Hades gulped but retained his stony exterior. “Of course, my dear. I will take care of the-” He looked at Mrs. Bumblefrost with distaste. “-of the cat.”
The Queen smiled, kissed him lightly on the cheek, and walked away. Pausing in the doorway, she blew him another kiss and left the room.
Hades gulped. ““Now… Mr. Dodgson-”
“Charles,” said the ghost. “Uh, your lordship.” He wasn’t quite sure what to do. Should he kneel?
“Ah,” said Hades, a disturbing twinkle in his eyes, “I see, Charles. I had planned on simply, well tossing the cat through the portal into its own place in the cosmos.” He held up one finger at Charles as the ghost opened his mouth. “But it seems you and the cat have developed a fondness for each other.” He watched as the kitten rubbed against Charles’s incorporeal legs. The kitten slid slightly through them, but seemed aware of the situation, leaning her body toward where his legs should be withoutactually putting her full weight against the space they would occupy. She purred loudly.
“I don’t understand,” said Charles. “What are you saying?”
Hades motioned at Charles incorporeal form, and it solidified. Charles patted his chest, his legs, in amazement. “What the- What just happened?” he asked.
The kitten now rubbed against his legs for real, then stopped and looked at him through bright green eyes. Charles bent down, picked her up, and cradled her in his arms. She did the purr thing again.
“I’ve given you a gift, Charles,” said Hades.
“A gift?” asked Charles.
“Call it a loan maybe? Listen, you have already proved yourself valuable, and you can hardly deliver this cat back to its rightful place if you can’t touch it, can you?” Hades grin was a little too wide for his face, and the fire dancing in his eyes was disturbing, but Charles sensed no deception. Maybe a little more than what the dark lord was telling him, but nothing sinister.
“It’s a loan?” asked Charles, unable to believe his luck.
“Call it a job perk,” said Hades. “You were useful in the Ghost Realm without a body, think how useful you can be for me with one.” Unless, of course, my alternate plans for the feline come through. He smiled again. “Plus, I want to reward you for your service. So, what’s your answer?”
Charles looked at the kitten snuggling in his arms and replied, “I’ll take it.”
Hades wasn’t sure if he meant the cat or the job, but it didn’t matter. As far as signals went, thisone was loud and clear. After the man’s errand with the kitten, he would send him back briefly to the Ghost Realm, to show the others the good will of Hades. When ghosts defected from there to Hades’s kingdom, his realm would grow by leaps and bounds.
Win, win, win, thought the Lord of the Dead.
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**Look for the next exciting installment of Pinholes next Tuesday, same cat-time, same cat-channel… uh, blog. I mean, blog.