Commander Feral stepped out of his personal cruiser, adjusting his overcoat. He had followed the two junkyard kats, Burke and Murray, in their dump truck as they had requested, and he now found himself standing in the city salvage yard. Sergeant Brady got out of the opposite side of the cruiser; Feral had opted to bring his Sergeant along just in case he needed backup.
He watched as the huge, noisy truck ahead of them shut off its engine, Burke and Murray hopping out and gesturing excitedly. Feral and Brady crossed the yard to the where the brothers stood.
“This had better be good,” Feral said, pointing at Murray with his baton. He was slightly miffed that Burke and Murray had chosen not to tell him just what they were going to show him, and he found himself wondering why he’d even agreed to come along in the first place.
“Don’t worry, Commander,” said Murray. “Trust me. This is worth your time. C’mon.”
The smaller kat led the way, Feral, Sergeant Brady, and the hulking Burke plodding after. The small group approached the front of the establishment known as Jake and Chance’s Garage. He scoffed, remembering those two insolent toadies.
“Aren’t they-” Sergeant Brady began.
“Yes,” Feral politely cut him off. “The two hotshots who caused all that damage to headquarters years ago. I fired them and sent them to work off their debt here. And, it looks like they’ve certainly been doing fair, opening their own business and all as opposed to just hauling junk like our guides here.”
Brady nodded as he and his superior officer followed Burke and Murray in through the garage, past the parked orange tow truck, and into the living area through a side door. Feral grimaced. The place wasn’t unsanitary or anything, but it was still a mess. Empty milk cans everywhere, candy wrappers, and so forth.
“If you brought me here to show me just what poor housekeepers Clawson and Furlong are, Murray, then I think I’ve seen enough.”
“Ooh,” Murray said. “They’re slobs, all right. But, pretty slick at keeping some big secrets.”
“What kinds of secrets?” Feral asked, arching a brow.
“Clawson and Furlong are, uh…well it’s hard to explain. You’d better look for yourself, Commander,” Burke said, and then he knelt down near where there was a ratty-looking rug on the floor. He pulled it back, revealing to Feral what looked like some sort of hatch. He suddenly felt proverbial butterflies in his stomach as Burke turned the handle, popping the hatch open.
Feral stepped up to the hole and stared down into the darkness, then he turned back to Sergeant Brady. “Sergeant,” he said. “Get some flashlights.”
“No need,” said Murray, matter-of-factly. “There’s a light switch down there.”
Feral nodded, handing Murray his baton, and, turning, he went into the hole and down the ladder backwards. He felt his boots scrape against concrete a little ways down and stepped away from the ladder. Sergeant Brady climbed down after him, and Feral waited until his subordinate had joined him before he located the light switch, just as Murray had promised, to his right.
Flicking it on, Feral felt and practically heard his heart skip a beat as he beheld a large chamber with cement walls, floor, and ceiling. The room was mostly empty save a couple of tables with various odds and ends that, from Feral’s vantage point, couldn’t readily be made out. Feral turned and went slowly down the short stairs to his left.
“Look at this,” he said as he saw that the wall next to him was covered in little skull-and-crossbones that had been stamped onto it. A stamp pad and inker, he noticed, sat on a small shelf nearby.
“Looks like some kind of scorekeeping display,” said Sergeant Brady as he started down the stairs after Feral.
The Commander approached one of the tables, wanting to get a closer look at some of the items he’d spotted on them. He frowned as he picked up a glovelike device that looked as though it was made to slide over the wearer’s forearm. Brady stepped up beside him, clearing his throat.
“Uh, sir, is this place what I think it is?” he asked.
“It’s an old military bunker, of that I can be certain. Built in Mega War II as a refueling depot for ships. It’s right on the river, practically. And I’d stake my job, no, I’d stake my reputation that this is the hideout of the SWAT Kats.” Sergeant Brady’s normally lidded, drowsy-looking eyes widened in surprise at Feral’s words. Feral set down the device, which, if he remembered correctly, the SWAT Kats called a ‘glovatrix,’ and turned to Brady. “Sergeant, get up to the car and get on the horn to headquarters. I want a squad here on the double.”
“Yes, sir,” the Sergeant replied. He turned and hurried back to the ladder, climbing up.
Feral absently licked his lips, only to discover his mouth was dry. If this was what he thought it was… Turning, he spotted a set of lockers against the far wall. Etched onto the two doors were the names ‘T-Bone’ and ‘Razor.’ Feral grinned, happy for the first time today. In fact for the first time in a good, long while. There was no longer any doubt in his mind that he was standing in the lair of the SWAT Kats. “Finally,” he said aloud to no one. “Those vigilante scum are going down.”
“Didja see it?” Burke asked excitedly as Sergeant Brady emerged from the hatch.
“Yeah,” said Brady. He quickly walked across the room and out through the garage, heading for Feral’s parked cruiser. After standing there for a moment wondering why Feral didn’t come up, Burke and Murray followed the Sergeant. He opened the door and climbed into the driver’s seat, getting the radio going.
“So, uh, this is big, right?” Murray asked.
“Very,” the Sergeant replied.
Burke and Murray grinned at each other.
“So, uh, what are you gonna do?” Burke asked.
Brady sighed. “I’m calling in reinforcements to secure the area. And yes, that means we’re going to detain the SWAT Kats.”
“Oh, boy! So, we’ll go down in history as the guys who found the SWAT Kats’ secret lair, huh?” gushed Murray.
“You’ll get mentioned. Now, beat it. The Enforcers will handle it from here. Your five minutes of fame are up.”
Growling, the brothers turned and stalked towards their truck as Brady contacted Enforcer Headquarters and requested immediate backup.
Meanwhile, the Turbokat was in the process of flying across the bay toward the peninsula where the salvage yard was. In the pilot’s seat, T-Bone yawned. He hadn’t gotten much sleep last night, thanks to indigestion caused by some particularly spicy pizza, and the day’s lengthy battle with Hard Drive hadn’t helped make T-Bone any more awake. The adrenaline rush from the fighting was gone, and now T-Bone was ready to hit the hay.
“When we get home, I’m going straight to bed, buddy,” he said to his partner.
“I told you not to eat spicy foods right before you go to sleep,” Razor said. For the third time, too.
“Yeah, yeah,” T-Bone grumbled as he flew the jet over land now, circling around so that he could fly into the hangar. As he brought up the remote control that operated the tunnel’s hidden door, he happened to glance down and was surprised to see an Enforcer cruiser parked in the yard. Burke and Murray’s truck was there, too, driving out of the yard, but that was hardly surprising. After all, they worked at the salvage yard too. But, what was an Enforcer cruiser doing there?
“Hey, Razor,” T-Bone said. “It’s an Enforcer cruiser.”
“I see it,” came the reply. After a moment, Razor said, “And it’s not just any cruiser. It’s a commander-issue staff car!”
“What? Are you sure?”
“No doubt about it, buddy,” Razor said. “The blue-on-white color scheme’s unmistakable.”
T-Bone studied the entire yard for a moment, and was relieved when he saw no one. “Well,” he said. “I don’t see anybody down there who could spot us comin’ in. I’m bringing her in.”
T-Bone clicked the remote control, activating the tunnel door, and he flew the jet towards it as it slid open.
Commander Feral was inspecting the lockers, a spare red and blue helmet in his hands, when he heard and felt the turning of enormous gears nearby. He quickly put the helmet back into the locker and, in an unusual state of panic, hastily looked around for a hiding place. He found one behind a console of some kind, and none too soon as through the gigantic circular hole in the middle of the cavernous room, the Turbokat rose on a hydraulic platform. Feral peered around the corner of the console, and watched as the canopy of the Turbokat’s cockpit opened, revealing T-Bone and Razor. He remained this way as the two SWAT Kats approached the lockers, T-Bone remarking about how he remembered closing his locker door before they left, and the two of them changed clothes, out of their pilot’s uniforms and into the coveralls of garage mechanics.
So, thought Feral, the SWAT Kats are Chance Furlong and Jake Clawson. How could he have been so stupid not to have made the connection before? Then again, the only time he had really spoken to Furlong and Clawson and stood face to face with them was the day he fired them for letting Dark Kat escape and destroying half of headquarters. Still, it made sense that the SWAT Kats, two highly skilled pilots, would be ex-Enforcers.
He ducked back behind the console further as Furlong and Clawson walked across the room towards the ladder. It was all he could do to stop himself from jumping out and taking them by surprise, his heart pounding in his chest. Yes, Feral thought, today was turning out to be one of the best days of his life.
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Disclaimer: SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Inc. All Rights Reserved. © 1995. All other characters and material within this page are the property of their respective creators.