“Well, my dear,” the old cat smiled, “did you find everything you were looking for?”
“Everything but today’s paper,” she grinned.
“Right here, kitten,” he said, plopping one down on the counter with the rest of her stuff. “I finished with it a good while ago.”
“Great, I’ll check out the housing and job ads while I’m at the Scratching Post.”
The old tom stopped, a worried look crossing his face as he carefully said, “The Post isn’t the safest place for a young kit like you to be. You’d be better off at the Green Pines. It’s a little more expensive, but it’s in a far better neighborhood.”
“Okay, I’ll have Fast Eddie drop me there instead.”
Feral turned up the collar of his overcoat as he stepped out onto the street and headed toward the precinct. He had a gut feeling it was going to be a long day.
Autumn was feeling a lot better as she strolled along with her bags. “Maybe it won’t be as tough as I thought,” she mused, giving a polite nod to a guy who was watching her pass. “No one’s going insane, running and screaming yet.”
“Stop it!” a female voice yelled from the alley beside her.
“Give it up, grandma!” a male voice ordered.
Peering down the alleyway, she saw two toms roughing up an old lady.
“More things change the more they stay the same,” she thought before racing in and bellowing, “Get Off her!”
The strap of the purse broke, giving one of the guys an opportunity to run, but the other one turned and lunged at Autumn, who dropped her bags and took up the challenge. While Autumn was stomping the spit out of the one foolish enough to attack her, she didn’t notice the old woman slip away until an enforcer unit roared into the alley and someone yelled freeze. Backing away from the mugger, she turned to see two guns pointing at her. Keeping her hands where they could be seen, she slowly raised her arms and locked her hands behind her head.
“Remember,” she thought calmly, “you’re the alien here. They’ll shoot you just as soon as look at you.”
“Please,” she said in an equally calm voice, “make sure the old woman is all right.”
“There is no old woman!” a weasely looking officer said as he gave her a shove into the wall.
“Lieutenant!” the other called out in a stern warning as Autumn slipped in some slush and spun away to regain her footing. She didn’t do it as gracefully as she’d hoped, cutting the back of her knee on a trash can.
“Up against it!” the weasel ordered as he shoved her again.
This time her face caught the edge of a brick doorframing and scraped across her cheek. That was more than she was willing to take. Snapping around, she knocked the gun out of his hand and punched him square in the face, calling his parentage into question. Then, eyeballing the driver who had a bead on her, she just put her wrists together and said, “Now you can arrest me.”
Back in his office Commander Feral returned to the work he’d started before the mayor had his panic attack and demanded his presence.
“That crazy she devil attacked me for no reason!” the punk on the ground wheezed as the officer cuffed her and informed her of her rights.
Casting a look of disgust his way, the officer replied, “Yeah, Katzmier, you’re a model citizen. Now just stay there until I’m done dealing with the lady here.”
“That’s no lady!” the lieutenant spat, “that rotten little wretch broke my nose!”
“And, I’m sure your commanding officer will take great interest in how that came about,” she smiled, sarcasm dripping off of every word.
Turning to the one who’d cuffed her, she asked politely if he’d put her bags in the trunk or in the back seat with her.
“I’ll put them in the trunk as soon as I’m done with my notes. Now mind your head, ma’am,” he said with standard politeness as he helped her into the back seat.
As he closed the door, he saw the lieutenant talking to Katzmier. “What are you up to?” he wondered as he saw the lieutenant pat him on the shoulder and told him to go.
Turning to see the look on his driver’s face, the lieutenant said plainly, “I took his statement, and if we need him later, it’s not like he’s a hard kat to find.”
Discretion being the better part of valor, the officer kept his mouth shut as walked past and started to scan the alleyway and take notes. In the slush he could see the signs of a struggle and four distinct sets of footprints.
“Lieutenant,” he said in his usual business tone, “I think you’d better see this.”
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.