Our weary band of survivors pondered this for a while. After all, there's a long list of people who hate Amalgamated Humor, and we only had one clue: the initial robot kitty sent to Mr. Brockie was sent with a card signed "C.S." Finally, I remembered someone with those initials who hated Cap'n Wacky with a vengeance: his ex-wife, entertainment curiosity Carol Shanning!
Then I remembered that it's spelled "Channing," so so much for that idea.
Finally, Gordy Schwartz pointed out that the person behind the kitties was obviously Cap'n Wacky's arch enemy, the very person who had taken over the whole of www.capnwacky.com around the turn of last year and vowed revenge upon us all when we was finally ousted: CAP'N SHIFTY!
So, I decided to give him a call. A good public relations expert always has his enemies in the Rolodex. What follows is a transcript of our conversation:
CAP'N SHIFTY: (answers phone) Ahoy?
GARY NEWBRUNSWICK: Cap'n Shifty?
CS: Aye? Who be this?
GN: This is Gary Newbrunswick, remember me?
CS: Aye, the little brown noser in public relations with Amalgamated Humor.
GN: Right. That's me. So, I know you hate us and all, but this whole robot kitty thing has really gotten out of hand.
CS: What in the seven seas are you talking about?
GN: Aren't you the one who sent the robot kitty to Mr. Brockie as your evil scheme of revenge upon us?
CS: What? No, no. Iım still working on my evil scheme of revenge upon you. It's not ready yet.
GN: Not ready yet? Itıs been almost a whole year since you vowed to get even with us all. What's the hold up?
GN: Oh, the Plays That Start With O and End With Exclamation Points Festival?
CS: Aye, the very same. I played Dream Curly and Mr. Sowerberry.
GN: So, you're not behind the robot kitties, then?
CS: No. What happened with robot kitties?
GN: Oh, someone sent us one and they've been self-replicating and now the whole building has been taken over by kill-crazy artificial felines.
CS: And youıve managed to survive so far?
GN: Yes, right now a bunch of us are holed up in a storeroom in the east wing of level 3.
CS: I see. Well, Iıve got to go now and have a good long laugh at your misfortune.
GN: OK, bye.
CS: Bye now. If you survive, Iıll get you later. (hangs up)
With Shifty cleared, we could think of no one else who bore those initials and a deep hatred for us all. However, we wouldn't have to think for long. Within minutes after hanging up from Shifty, the door to the storeroom we were hiding in burst open and we were surrounded by robot kitties!
"I am Frisky Q-42, robot spokeskitty," one addressed me. "We have just received an anonymous call from a giggling man that informed us you were here."
"Nice work, Newbrunswick. Way to help our enemies work together," Gordy snarled.
"Silence, humans!" Frisky q-42 hissed. "It is time to take you to The Master."
And so each of us were picked up by the scruff of our necks by a robot kitty and dragged into Mr. White's personal condo. Waiting there, at the top of the stairs was the answer to the question that had been bugging us for weeks.
It was the face of a man who had hated Cap'n Wacky for decades.
It was the face of a man who we had believed gone.
It was the face of a man I believed dead.
It was the face of a man attached to the body of a robot kitty.
It was Carl Sagan!
Robot Kitty Carl Sagan and minion.
"Now," purred the head of Carl Sagan atop his fuzzy little kitty body, "I shall have my revenge at long last. Any final requests?"
"Yes!" I shouted. "Tomorrow is Friday! Let me update the website!"
"Very well," said Robot Kitty Carl Sagan. "And THEN, you will die!"