Putin stared out the K-7’s window, narrowed eyes glowing a furious green, until he saw C-4 burst from the water. Only then did he turn away.
The view out the other side of the Pal’s flying fortress was almost beyond comprehension: The mountain valley looked like a war zone.
Burning shards of Mila’s jet blanketed the northern shore, and pillars of smoke poured from gaping wounds in the great Cthulu Temple.
Orange-robed monks streamed from the Temple as white brick walls lost their grip on the mountainside, collapsing into clouds of dust.
Mila was dead. The thought came to Putin from far away, arriving like a stranger. He’d followed her into a trap, and now she was dead.
“Brace for impact!” Murder Cat’s voice blared over the intercom, tearing Putin away from his brief encounter with introspection.
White-knuckling the control column, Murder Cat eased the 700-ton aircraft’s city-bus-sized pontoons onto the sea as gently as he could.
WHAM! The impact bounced Black Ops into the air and he toppled to the floor, blinking his weird goat eyes in surprise.
As soon as the plane settled, Snowy raced toward the K-7 cargo bay. “Battle stations!” Murder Cat leapt from the controls and followed her.
Outside, the crumbling temple continued belching flames, disgorging a flood of panicked monks running wildly down to the sea.
Upon reaching the water’s edge, some realized they’d escaped one horror only to face another. They hesitated, and were trampled.
A cry went out, desperate but determined. “Attack! Defend Cthulu!” The Time of Pain had come, and it was best to die as soon as possible.
The words were repeated over and over. The K-7 floated just a hundred feet offshore, and monks sprinted into the water toward it.
Putin burst into the cockpit, looked at the narwhal sitting at the controls, and shouted, “Eeee-oouh! Eyeee-uhh!” Peaches or Herb nodded.
His/her flipper pushed the throttle forward and the K-7 slowly spun until its tail faced the shore. Then s/he slapped a toggle switch.
At the rear of the K-7, a massive ramp dropped, slamming into the water and shooting a towering wave toward the approaching monks.
Amorphous orange forms were tossed in the swell and cast into the depths. The attacking monks froze, and for a moment all was quiet.
They heard the water lapping against the K-7’s pontoons, and then a high-pitched whine followed by a thud. Confusion and fear gripped them.
Herb or Peaches swiftly swam toward the K-7, with C-4 perched on his/her head. The little dog yapped happily despite the danger.
A flash of light from within the cargo hold! A deafening roar! And then Snowy burst into the air, wearing a totally sweet battle mech.