TITLE: THE SWAT KATS’ FINAL RESISTANCE: PART TWO
AUTHOR: C. L. Furlong
DATE: January 16, 2001
FINISHED: February 04, 2001
LAST REVISION: February 14, 2001
E-MAIL: email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
RATING: R (self-explanatory)
SUMMARY: Revelations about Dark Kat’s past. Another “Katastrophe” episode, only this time, the new Radical Squadron has cut in much too close… With an ending that might not please everyone…
DISCLAIMER: SWAT Kats and anything related to the series are property of Hanna-Barbera. No infringement is intended and no profit is gained with this fiction.
COMMENTS: This fiction really got out of hand! I had to do a few cuts in the plot and it still turned out to be this monster you have before your eyes. It didn’t correspond exactly to what I had in mind, but it seemed to have worked out reasonably well nevertheless. It’s a little bit dark/red and positively mystical. I usually don’t do this kind of plot, but it sounded good to me. Amon and Horus are two Egyptian gods related to the “upper world” while Seth, Hades, Pluto and Hel are the rulers of the “underworld” in the Egyptian, Greek, Roman and Nordic mythologies, respectively. Again, if you find any grammar or spelling errors in this fiction, please try to remind that I’m writing in a foreign language, as I’m not an english speaker. You´ll find that parts of this fiction resemble a lecture, and you’re right – they are! Though fiction my plots may be, I’ll always try to make them look plausible so when you finish reading one you ask yourself “Could it really be done?” Of course, this one escapes a bit from that line. Besides, my education as a Biology/Geology teacher taught me that the Internet is a perfect place to learn, so I’ll always try to introduce some concepts of Biology/Geology in my fiction when possible. And, please *do* let me know about your comments on this fic so I could do something better next time. Cheers to all SK fans. Special thanks to Kristen Sharpe for her comments and proofreading on Part One. You *really* gave me a boost on this one. I can’t thank you enough!
“We don’t have the power to destroy the planet – or to save it. But we might have the power to save ourselves.” – Michael Crichton in “Jurassic Park”
“If I lose, everyone loses!” – Dark Kat in “Katastrophe”
A month had elapsed since the creeplings had attacked Jake at the salvage yard.
It was a glorious sunny afternoon and high in the skies above Megakat Bay the TurboKat completed a series of daredevil moves that sent Razor’s stomach to his mouth. Razor could see that Katana was almost as skilled as T-Bone. That was obvious to him now! However, Razor hadn’t gotten over his friend’s death yet.
“She’s a lot like you, ol’ buddy… But, it’s not the same thing… – Razor thought – Chance, Chance… I miss you so badly… But, I know now you’re alive… Somewhere on this planet you live… I just have this feeling that you’re not dead, buddy… I still haven’t lost my hope of seeing you again…”
“So, Razor, what do you think? Had enough G’s already?” Katana asked Razor, her voice muffled over the radio built in her oxygen mask, bringing the weapons officer back to reality.
Razor blinked twice and mumbled something over the radio.
“What was that again, Razor?”
“I said, so far I haven’t seen anything unusual. Can’t you do better than that?” – he was obviously teasing her.
In this month of close dealing with Turmoil/Katana, Razor knew that would tick her off.
He slipped on his oxygen mask and prepared himself for a higher dose of G’s as the jet hurtled upward. Katana pushed the throttle switch till the end and engaged the afterburners. The jet darted upward and Razor was crushed against his seat. He began to see dark spots in the corner of his eyes a little later.
“Engaging Speed of Heat!” – Katana announced proudly.
The thrusters slid out of the rear of the jet, its wings swung backward, giving the fighter a somewhat more delta-like shape. The canopy was covered rapidly with the heat shields. All seven thrusters were in motion. The TurboKat plunged upward, defying the pull of gravity. They reached the top of the stratosphere in seconds.
Razor’s vision was now almost completely black except for a strip in front of each pupil. Katana cut off the afterburners and reduced the throttle so she could turn the jet and head down toward the ground. She too was beginning to see the corners of her eyes turn jet-black. She felt her body float free inside her harness during the turn, when gravity was temporarily null.
When the jet completed a 180º turn, she maxed the jet up again, starting to spin the TurboKat around itself in a death-defying spiral. They reentered the troposphere and hurtled down to Megakat Bay, the sound barrier broken long ago. She cut off the Speed of Heat thrusters and the afterburners in order to control the fighter before it could dive into the cold waters of the sea beneath them.
She pulled the control handle toward her to level the jet, putting all her strength in that movement. When the jet was finally leveled, she reduced the rear engines and activated the VTOL engines, setting the TurboKat in hover mode.
“So, what do you say now, Razor?” – There was no answer from behind her – “Razor?” – She turned in her seat, as much as the bands of her security harness would allow her, and she saw that Razor’s eyes were glazed.
“He’s in G-shock!” – she thought – “I’d better get him back to the hangar!”
She then turned to the controls and was about to activate the rear engines when she heard Razor mumbling. He was snapping out of his trance.
“Razor! Are you okay?”
“I… I’m okay… I guess…” – He managed to answer.
His vision was still clouded, but it was clearing at a satisfying rate.
“Let’s head home, okay?” – he said.
Suddenly, the radio crackled and a familiar female voice invaded the cockpit.
“SWAT Kats! You’re alive!”
“Yes, Miss Briggs! The SWAT Kats are back in action!” – Razor answered, his heart pounding with each word he spoke to his loved one.
“I tried to call you two several times last month but you never answered! Is everything all right with you, Razor?”
His face turned red. Razor knew Callie didn’t know he and Jake were the same kat, but he couldn’t help but think she had just asked Jake that and not Razor. After all, they were both the same kat…
“I’m fine, Miss Briggs. Thanks for your concern!”
“What about T-Bone? Is he okay too?”
Razor didn’t answer that. His mind suddenly flew a month back in time. He remembered the explosion when the jet crashed against City Hall and felt a tight knot forming in his stomach.
The radio crackled again.
“Razor? Are you still there?”
“I’m here, Miss Briggs!” – Razor said, snapping out of his memories. – “I’m sorry I didn’t answer you.” – He uncomfortably shifted his position in the seat as he searched for the right words. – “It’s kinda hard for me to say this…”
“Did something happen to T-Bone?” – Callie asked, her voice showing true concern.
He didn’t want to say the word ‘died’ for he thought it was too strong. Besides, it would shake his recent beliefs.
“…left this world, Miss Briggs…”
A long silence filled the cockpit before Callie recovered enough from her own shock.
“I… I’m… I’m so sorry, Razor… I *really* am…”
Even she, who wrote all of Manx’s speeches, was having trouble finding the right words. But then, the facts struck her.
“Then… who’s flying the TurboKat? Is it you, Razor?”
“No, Miss Briggs, I’m not flying the TurboKat…”
“It’s Razor’s new partner!” – Katana said – “Nice to speak to you, Deputy Mayor. You can call me Katana!”
“You replaced T-Bone already?”
She couldn’t know the effect that comment had on Razor. He dropped his head to his chest and closed his eyes. The feeling he was betraying Chance overwhelmed him again as it had countless times the last month.
In his nightmares, Chance and T-Bone had already died in at least fifty different ways. The most terrifying were the times when he helplessly let his friend die in his arms.
He suddenly cocked his head. No! That was enough! He wouldn’t allow himself to be down now! Chance was alive and he knew it! The hard part was to pretend to the other katizens he wasn’t!
Only Razor believed Chance was alive. Not even Turmoil believed in that already! But, Razor had to maintain that belief. Otherwise, he would go insane longing for his ‘brother’ to return…
“Actually, she came to me, Miss Briggs.” – he managed to say, trying to keep a strong tone in his voice – “She was an old acquaintance of T-Bone’s and he would have wanted her to take his place. I accepted her and she’s already proved trustworthy. She is ready to give her life to protect MegaKat City,.. like T-Bone did.”
From over the radio, Razor heard a voice calling Callie. It was Manx.
“Oops! Gotta go, guys… I have to escort ‘his honor’ to the opening of the new Manx statue in Katalina Station…”
The radio went blank. Katana chuckled a little.
“Guys? She must’ve been very close to you!” – she said as she flew the black jet towards the salvage yard.
“She’s one of our best friends. She and Ann Gora. If it weren’t for those ladies, we would only know Megakat City was under attack until it was already too late!” – Razor said as he inspected his radar.
Nothing to fear.
No drones in sight.
Katana attempted to look back at Razor. She shook her head.
“Razor, I think you’re getting paranoid about those drones! We’re all clear!” – she said as she pushed a button on the remote control that would open the door to the underground hangar. – “By the way, aren’t you forgetting someone? From what I saw that day, years before, there was at least *one* Enforcer who gave you credit…”
“Yeah, Felina… She’s a good friend, too… At least, she has the ability to tame her uncle…”
He gave a soft chuckle as the canopy popped open. Both SWAT Kats jumped to the floor and removed their helmets.
“And, I don’t think I’m *getting* paranoid about those drones… I really *am* paranoid about ’em. I don’t want Dark Kat to get here and blow our cover like the Metallikats did that time!”
“Yeah, so you’ve told me… about a hundred times in the last month…” She took off her mask and swung her head so her hair would settle down. “Even so, I think you should have more faith in me. I think I’ve made perfectly clear I can take care of *both* of us!”
“It’s not that, Turmoil… I saw your skills! I know what you can do! It’s Dark Kat I’m worried about! Unfortunately, I know *his* skills as well!”
He took off his G-suit and placed it in his locker. He had started dressing in his mechanics overalls when he turned to face Turmoil.
“And I don’t need *anybody* to take care of me!” – he said in a rasping voice – “Don’t treat me as though I was a kitten!”
Turmoil was surprised! She had never seen Jake act like this!
“Whoa!” – she said, raising her paws to cover her face – “I’m sorry if I insulted you, okay? Now c’mon, let’s get a bite of something. I’m starving!”
“You go get somethin’ for yourself. I’m not really hungry. I guess I’ll go practice a little before headin’ back to the grease pit…” – he mumbled as he started to take off his overalls.
Only when Turmoil was safe near the ladder did she scream to Jake.
“You know, Jake, it would have saved you a lot of time if you had just put on your kimono when you took off your G-suit!”
Laughing, she climbed up the stairs as fast as she could to avoid the wrench Jake threw at her. She felt tempted to say something like ‘not so sureshot, are you’ but she decided it would be better not to tick him off even more. She knew Jake could be dangerous if he lost his temper, which, in turn, was something quite hard for him to do. She thought it would be better to leave him alone a little bit so he would calm down.
In the dojo Jake and Chance had built in a separate room of the hangar, Jake was running at full stride toward the sandbag.
He jumped and rotated his torso before rotating his hips and his right leg, which exploded in the sandbag with a loud thud. The sandbag was thrown in the opposite direction. Jake landed and waited for the sandbag to return.
His left fist laid beside his chest as the right one was stretched in front of him. When the sandbag was about to strike him, Jake let out a high-pitched kat-rate cry as he extended his left fist and retracted the right one. The sandbag bulged out on the opposite side and the sand burst out of the bag.
Jake remained in the same position for a few seconds while the sandbag was being deprived of its content. He withdrew his left arm, contracting his biceps. Surprisingly, the bag was uninjured where Jake had hit it, but the force of his stroke had punched a hole in the opposite side.
He left the arena and sat on a low wood bench, grabbing a towel and tossing it across his shoulders. Sweat was covering his face and his muscular bare torso. He was calmer now, but his heart still had some rage in it.
It wasn’t his fault like he said a month ago.
It was all *Dark Kat’s* fault!
*Dark Kat* had hurt Chance, not him!
If Chance was missing, then *Dark Kat* was the one to be blamed, not him!
He jumped off the bench, turned around and smacked the side of his right paw in a chopping motion on it, breaking it in two pieces. He straightened, bent his arms up and clenched his fists, tensing every muscle in his torso, the most determined and fierce look appearing on his face.
“I swear to you, buddy, wherever you are, I’ll *kill* Dark Kat with my own paws!”
“How is he?” – Felina asked the old nurse that was taking care of her cousin as she entered her uncle’s private infirmary.
The gray-furred she-kat turned to face the lieutenant with sad eyes.
“It’s amazing how he’s been recovering but… he’s still in a coma… At least he hasn’t had any more cardiac seizures since that day. His brain’s electric activity is stable thanks to the new electrolytic fluids we’ve been administrating to him. I think all his system wanted was some potassium and sodium after all.”
She turned to look at the kat in the bed and sighed. “He’s so young! It would be a shame if he died now… He has an entire life ahead of him…” She shook her head and left the room.
Felina walked to the side of the bed and took a good look at the kat. Even under the white sheet she could see clearly his powerful muscles. His fur was now cleaned of the dry blood and new fur was growing where the scorched areas had been shorn off.
“You know what, cous’?” – she said to the comatose kat – “You’re kinda cute, you know?”
She caressed the kat’s snout with her forefinger. When she touched his whiskers, the kat twitched his nose. She took off her finger, startled.
“Am I seeing things?” – she asked herself and touched his whiskers again.
Again, his nose twitched. There was no doubt! He was getting his reflexes back. She reached for her communicator and pressed a button on it.
“This is Lieutenant Feral. Do you copy, Commander?”
The radio crackled and a grave voice responded.
“This is Commander Feral. What is it, Lieutenant?”
“Uncle, you’d better come to one-oh-nine, now!”
“I’m on my way. Feral out!”
The radio crackled one final time and then went blank. Felina returned her attentions to his cousin again. He seemed to be having rapid-eye-movements now.
Feral came within a few minutes.
“What is it, Felina? Did something happen to him?” – he asked, his voice showing true concern.
“Easy, uncle! Well, something is *definitely* happening to him! I think he’s waking up!” – she said, pointing to the kat’s eyes. They were still closed but movement could be seen under his eyelids.
“He’s having REM!” – Feral said, stroking his chin. – “As if he was in a deep sleep…”
He took the kat’s right paw in his and felt it squeeze his paw tightly.
“He’s coming to consciousness! It seems like he’s gonna wake up any second now! How can that be?”
Feral managed to withdraw his paw from the tight grip of the tom-kat’s paw. The other’s entire body started squirming under the sheet now.
“It seems like he’s having a nightmare! If it’s so, he *really* may wake up any second now!” – Felina said. She placed one paw on her uncle’s left shoulder and faced him – “Remember, uncle! He doesn’t know you’re his father so act as if you didn’t know he’s your son either! We don’t want to confuse him right off. Okay, uncle?”
“I don’t think I’m ready to tell him the truth yet, Felina.” – he shrugged – “I even think it would be better for all of us if we just left things the way they were…”
Felina faced her uncle with an intense gaze.
“I didn’t said that! You have to tell him the truth, uncle! He has the right to know he has a family! I’m just asking you not to hug him right away when he regains consciousness…”
Feral wiped her paw off his shoulder as his face acquired a rock-hard look.
“I thought you’d know me better than that, Lieutenant! You should know I’d give no one a hug!”
His attention was drawn back to the bed. The kat was now mumbling something almost inaudibly.
“No… Gotta bail… Building… Look out… Bleeding… No… Too fast… Too damaged… Hurt… So much… No… No…”
“*NO*!” – The brawny kat sat up in the bed, but a sharp pain on the left side of his chest made him groan and sink into the bed again.
He looked around him, his eyes still unfocused. He saw two shadows, one big and one smaller. The smaller one came to him and a sound came to his ears, but he couldn’t discern what it was. A few seconds passed before he started comprehending that those muffled sounds he was hearing were words. By that time, the big shadow, now a little more trimmed in his vision, stood by his left side but it didn’t speak.
He thought he recognized the voice of the smaller shadow. It was a feminine voice and he knew he had already heard her somewhere. His hearing and his vision were slowly returning to normal. From his left side, the big shadow spoke for the first time.
“Wake up already! We don’t have all day, you know?”
He recognized that voice too! Only a few moments later did he remember the name of the owner of that grave tone. And, that comment could have come from none other than…
“Commander… Feral?” – he said in a raspy voice. His throat was as dry as a sub-tropical desert. It was hard for him to speak. “Is… that… you?”
“I see you’re well already. I can’t wait to have you out of my infirmary and into Alkatraz, which is where *you* belong!”
He pointed a finger at the kat’s face. Having recovered almost entirely now, the kat couldn’t help jerking his head toward Feral’s finger, trying to bite it. Feral withdrew his finger just as the kat’s jaws closed, barely missing him.
“You *reckless hotshot*!” – he bellowed – “I should have you *shot* for that!”
“Easy, uncle!” – Felina soothed – “Maybe it’s better for you to go to your office and let me handle this, okay?”
“Just get this *clown* out of here as soon as possible!” He spun on his heel and walked to the door, opening it. “I expect a detailed report on my desk tomorrow, first thing in the morning, Lieutenant!”
He then slammed the door shut with all his strength, almost causing the door knob to slide off its place.
Felina saluted the door with an emphatic ‘Yes, Sir’ and then turned to her cousin.
“I wonder what you did to tick him off the second you made eye contact with him…” – she said to the brawny kat, who just shrugged.
He grimaced when he did that.
“Are you okay?”
He tried to lift himself, but the sharp pain in his chest stopped him and he sank again into the bed with a grimace of pain.
She put a paw on his bare chest.
“Allow me to disagree with you!” – she said as she ran her gloved paw over his left chest. An unwanted purr rumbled almost inaudibly in his throat. Then, she found what she was looking for.
“Remember this?” – she said, pointing to a circular wound in his lower left chest.
He groaned a little when she touched it with her gloved paw.
“I remember!” – he just said, gently taking her paw off the wound. The burning feeling faded a little but didn’t disappear completely.
“It looks like a bullet entered your body through there. And, I didn’t find any exit wound so it must be still inside you.” – she said as she petted his whiskers.
He looked uncomfortable with her actions. She didn’t seem like the same Felina he knew, the friend that always helped him out. Although he couldn’t say he disliked this new Felina… Even so, he couldn’t allow her to have false hopes. He once again gently took her paws away from him.
“It’s still inside me. As far as I can feel, it’s really near my heart.” He groped his ribs, searching. “I thought I had broken a rib, but I can’t feel it!”
“Actually, you were checked in with five broken ribs, several bleeding wounds, scorched fur and skin and lots of bruises.” – she said as she stepped away from him. “Fortunately, you have an amazing healing ability! Your ribs are nearly completely solidified again and your wounds healed in the first two weeks.”
That comment made him prick his hears.
“In the first two weeks?” – he repeated – “How long have I been out?” – he asked, looking at her face intensely.
“You haven’t been just out! You were in a coma, deeply, for an entire month!”
He widened his eyes and opened his mouth in disbelief. “An entire *month*? I gotta get outta here!”
He threw the sheet off and raised himself, trying to ignore the sharp pain.
Felina hurried to him. “Are you nuts?” – she said, pushing him down again – “You’re not completely healed yet! And we have to extract that bullet you have in your chest! You’re right, it’s right beside your heart so if we don’t move it, it could perforate your lung even more or even contact with your heart!”
He knew she was right. That bullet had to be extracted or he’d never have a normal life again…
If he could say he had a normal life!
“I’ll talk to the surgeons right away. Let’s see if we can get you in surgery today!”
He gulped and shuddered a little. Just the thought of it scared the heck out of his tail.
“Don’t tell me a tough tom-kat like you is afraid of a few bistouries!” – she teased him, giving him a mocking grin.
“Who? Me? Nah!” – he said, giving her his trademark smirk. – “Just tell ’em not to be too invasive, will you?”
“Will do. Meanwhile, try to rest! You need it!”
She waved her paw at him and shut the door. The tom-kat pulled the sheet over his chest and stared out the window at the sun setting outside.
He suddenly remembered something. He searched his head and relief filled his face when he felt the fabric. It was still there! He gave a loud sigh and closed his eyes for a moment, his grin disappearing from his snout.
“I wonder if he survived!”
His ears flattened against his head and he gave a low growl as his eyes narrowed.
“Crud… If anything’s happened to him, I *swear* I’ll kill that bastard with my own fists…”
“Sulfur, methane, carbon dioxide, nitrogen, water vapor…” – the bulky purple kat slowly mumbled while staring into the lava pit in front of him.
“That’s why it’s called lava and not magma when it rises to the surface… It’s amazing how I don’t succumb to these noxious fumes… Just one sniff would be enough to make any kat dizzy… However, I am immune to these volcanic exhalations… My masters *surely* created the true prowler of Death… and I must admit they did a perfect job…”
Dark Kat closed his eyes and savored his memories.
Sound… the wind swirling in the sand, raising dust clouds all around him. Then, the unmistakable sound of metal against metal, sword against sword.
Smell… the pungent odor of decaying corpses, the very smell of Death, blended with a soft ferruginous scent.
Touch… his feet burrowing ever further in the bloody corpses scattered on the ground, the tight grip of his paw on his sword, the gushes of blood from his opponents hitting his face and chest.
Taste… the perspiration dropping from his forehead and onto his lips, the bitter-metallic flavor of his prey’s vital fluid as he licked it out of his face.
Sight… the breathtaking sight of his masters shattering the stone and clay houses with one swipe, their black undefined forms blending with the darkness of the night, the mask of fear and pain his victims bore before the coup-de-grace.
Pleasure… the perfidious, wicked and sickening joy of torturing the few survivors until they pleaded for Death to claim their ripped souls.
Thrill… the rush of adrenaline before each battle, before each slash, before each torture session.
Power… the power his masters granted him, a power so immense that the entire katkind would tremble if it ever heard his name, for it certainly meant the death of the entire population.
“Milord Dark Kat?” – Mutilor called his leader tentatively.
Dark Kat slowly opened his eyes, returning to the present day reality and leaving his obnoxious memories behind.
“Soon they will be memories no more…” – he thought. He turned his gaze to Mutilor, who shuddered a little. – “What is it, Mutilor?” – Dark Kat asked, his deep voice rumbling in the humid basalt walls of his ‘throne room’.
Mutilor bowed to the huge kat, settling one knee on the ground and lowering his head. Only then he spoke.
“The drones are ready, milord Dark Kat. They await your royal visitation in the hangar.”
A rush of adrenaline lit the purple kat’s orange eyes. Finally, the end was very near… The end… of katkind…
“Let’s see the jets.” – he rumbled as he raised himself from his obsidian ‘throne’ and crossed the basalt bridge over the lava pit.
He stopped midway out on the rocky bridge and stuck an arm out off it, into the intense heat emanating from the churning lava below. His clothes began to burn and he left the bridge. He put out the fire with his cloak and stared at his brawny purple arm.
The fur was scorched but his skin remained undamaged.
The burnt fur dropped freely and was immediately replaced by new purple fur. Mutilor had his mouth open wide in disbelief. Dark Kat passed by him and headed for the hangar. Only a few seconds later did Mutilor recover enough from his bewilderment and race behind his master.
When they reached the hangar, twenty drones of two different sizes and shapes stood lined up with Dark Kat’s Doomsday Express. Mutilor hurried to explain the differences between the two types of drones.
“Allow me a little explanation, milord. The smaller drones you see here…” He pointed to his right with one of his two right arms, indicating ten round-shaped aircraft the size of a small car. “…are ‘Mutilators’ and are meant to inflict damage on any offender and eventually destroy it. The bigger drones…”
He now pointed to his left, towards ten jet-looking drones the size of a pick-up truck. “… are the ‘Destroyers’, which are programmed to destroy at first sight. The first ones will make good watchdogs while the later will be our warriors.” – Mutilor finished with a smile on his snout.
Dark Kat, however, seemed unimpressed.
“Specifications.” – he ordered. Mutilor began talking about the weapons systems.
“Besides missiles and bullets, they all are equipped with lasers made of prasium and not ruby, like the ones this planet developed. As you might know, alpha-prasium is nothing more than quartz with a few inclusions of amphibole and chlorite, which gives it its greenish color. Now, the trigonal arrangement of the silica tetrahedrons…”
“Skip it!” – Dark Kat growled – “I know what alpha-prasium is. Is it more effective than the usual ruby laser or not?” – he shot to Mutilor, who gulped and answered in a tentative voice.
“T-they are about twenty times more effective. That’s why I had to coat their chambers with gold, to prevent any burned-out system due to the power of its beam.”
“Good…” – the immense purple kat purred – “What about their hull?”
“Agrecite-Beryllium-Aluminum mega-alloy.” – Mutilor said, proudly – “Strong and light. It was almost a physical impossibility to build something that way, but the ABA mega-alloy solved the problem! The drones are extremely maneuverable and their hull can withstand any attack!”
“We’ll see about that.”
Dark Kat headed for the cage in a remote corner of the hangar and released the agrecite scorpion. The huge beast followed his master back to the drones.
“Shatter it!” – the purple kat ordered.
The scorpion lunged toward one of the ‘Destroyers’, pincers snapping in the air. The scorpion bit the wing of the big drone and his four pincers pinched the cockpit and rear stabilizers again and again.
A few minutes later, Dark Kat called the scorpion back, caging it again. He then inspected the attacked ‘Destroyer’ and this time, the purple kat seemed impressed.
The drone didn’t have a scratch on its hull! He tried to lift the jet-like drone with his own paws and was amazed to discover how light it was! He walked back to Mutilor, a devilish grin appearing on his almost featureless purple face.
“You worked well, Mutilor. As it was required, after all. But tell me. How accurate are their attacks?”
“W-what do you mean? What do you intend to attack?” – the orange-spotted alien tentatively asked.
Dark Kat’s eyes blazed and remained lit.
“The Turbokat!” – he simply answered. He gave an inquiring gaze to Mutilor who shook his head yes.
“Consider the Turbokat a piece of seared metal, milord Dark Kat!” – the four-armed creep answered.
Dark Kat broke out in loud laughter, so horrifying that even the agrecite scorpion burrowed his bulk deeper in the darkest corner of its cage.
Jake stepped out of the shower and wrapped a towel around his waist. The cold water did a good job of calming him down. He shook his body a little more in order to rinse the remaining water from his damp fur. Grabbing another towel he rubbed his entire body and, when he finished, his fur was somewhat dryer but still damp.
He had to apologize to Turmoil. He shouldn’t have acted like that just because she said she could take care of them both. Of course she knew he wasn’t a kitten anymore! He wondered why he always got so irritated when someone cared for him. Maybe because it reminded him of his parents.
By the way, it had been ages since the last time he had spoken to his folks back home. They must be worried sick! He took a mental note to phone them that evening while he was drying and combing his fur. He then headed for his room and put on a shirt and a pair of jeans.
Coming to the living room, he saw Turmoil close the garage for the night. She never stopped to amaze him. Not only was she a good pilot and fighter, she was also a reasonable mechanic and, above all, a good friend, which was everything he had needed during the past month. She was always there for him when he woke up in the night, startled by his nightmares. She comforted him when he was down, overwhelmed by the ominous feeling he was betraying Chance.
And she helped him rebuilding the Turbokat. The fighter jet was now better than ever! Jake had used ABA mega-alloy he salvaged from a few prototype helicopters Pumadyne had developed but, for some reason, all crashed down, meaning they were useless to the Enforcers. He wanted to do so as the old agrecite alloy didn’t protect them from the bullets of Dark Kat’s drones. He also managed to enhance the Speed of Heat turbine performance up to 35% of their previous boost.
“Did you calm down now, sureshot?” – Turmoil asked him, leaning against a car she was fixing and cleaning her paws on the cloth she took off from a rear pocket in her overalls.
Jake shook his head yes.
“I wanted to say I’m sorry for the way I treated you this afternoon, when we arrived. I was a complete jerk.” – he said, looking sheepishly to her.
She sighed and smiled to him.
“Why do you always underestimate yourself, Jake? You weren’t a jerk at all! I was! I shouldn’t have teased you when it was perfectly clear you were angry with Dark Kat. I should be the one to apologize, not you.”
“I guess we’re settled, then. You closed for the night?” – he asked, changing the subject.
“Yeah. It’s already past dusk. I don’t think there’ll be more customers.”
Just as she said it, someone knocked at the garage door.
“Jake? Chance? Are you there?” – said a female voice from outside.
Jake ran to the door and opened it. He was partially blinded by the headlights of Callie’s car and raised his paw to shield his eyes from the beams of light.
“Oh, I’m sorry, Jake!” – she turned to the car and killed the headlamps.
“Hi, Callie! What brings you here at this hour?” – his heart pounded heavily in his chest.
“I’m sorry to bother you guys but this baby coughed all the way from Katalina Station. I wonder if you could take a look at it in the morning.” – she said.
Turmoil came to their side.
“Why don’t you let me see it now, Miss Briggs?” – she said – “Maybe you can take it home tonight if it’s a simple thing.”
She looked suspiciously at the slim she-kat.
“Chance? What happened to you?”
Only then did she recognize Turmoil and gasped. -“T-Turmoil? What is she doing here? Is she holding you hostage, Jake?”
She backed up a step. Jake took her arm in his paw, asking himself how he found the courage to do so. She looked at him, fear in her face. It broke his heart to see her like that. He wanted to hold her in his arms and cherish her, reassuring her everything was all right but couldn’t find the bravery for that.
“Relax, Callie! She’s just helping me with the garage while Chance is out of town!”
She seemed to calm down a little and managed to ask how she was there.
“She came to us. No one in Megakat City would want her. Chance and I felt sorry for her and we decided she could stay here while Chance was gone. That’s the whole story.”
“I already paid my debt to society, Miss Briggs. I’ve spent five years in that hell called Alkatraz and I don’t intend to go back there! Now, Jake, why don’t you take Miss Briggs to the living room and give her some milk while I check on her car?”
Jake took Callie to the kitchen and retrieved two cans of milk from the refrigerator. He went to the cupboard and looked for a glass to pour the milk in.
“It’s okay, Jake!” – Callie said – “I prefer to drink it right from the can, if you don’t mind.” – she said, grabbing the cold can in her right paw and piercing two holes on top of it with the claw on her thumb.
Jake joined her and both kats drank some milk in silence.
“So, what were you doing down in Katalina Station, Callie?” – he asked casually.
She answered with the same thing she said to Razor that afternoon.
“The festivities just ended a short while ago. I’m pooped!”
She seemed to want to say something but couldn’t find a way to say it. Jake noted the look on her face and helped her.
“Is there anything you want to say?”
She looked over her shoulder to see if Turmoil wasn’t listening to them and then she sighed, releasing all the air in her lungs before she started.
“It’s Turmoil, Jake… Tell me one thing… and be honest, like you always are with me. Do you trust her?”
“I trust her since she first came to us. Chance trusts her too. And she hasn’t given me any reason yet for not.”
He sipped some more milk from his can and peered at Callie. She seemed to relax a little bit more.
“Well, I’m glad I was wrong about her…”
She turned her gaze to the ground and Jake could see her blushing a bit under her pale fur.
“Well… There’s something else I’ve been wanting to ask you… and I’m counting on your sincerity again…”
“What is it, Callie?” – Jake asked uneasily. His mind raced. Had she discovered his double identity? Had she discovered he and Razor were the same kat? Had she discovered who the SWAT Kats were?
She blushed a little more and started saying something when Turmoil appeared at the kitchen door.
“I know what’s wrong with… Oops! Did I interrupt something?” – she asked when she saw the looks on both kats’ faces.
Callie straightened up from the chair and faced Turmoil.
“Not at all, Turmoil. You were saying?” – Callie asked as Jake came to her side.
“I know what was wrong with your car. It was really simple! You just forgot to change the oil! I’ve already done that and the car’s purring like a kitten now!” – she said as she scrubbed her paws on the cloth.
Callie smacked herself in her forehead.
“Of course! I saw the oil level this morning but I completely forgot it! All because of ‘his honor’ and his new statue’s dedication!” – she snarled in disgust – “I’m sorry to have bothered you for such a puny thing! I’m really embarrassed!”
“Hey, it was a pleasure!” – Turmoil said, grinning – “And, I think Jake feels the same way too!”
“Huh… Yeah… Sure… You know you’re always welcome here, Callie!” – he babbled as he suddenly was brought back from his thoughts.
“Well, I should be going now. It’s getting kinda late and I guess you must want to rest… So… I’ll be seeing you…”
She stepped into the car and drove out of the salvage yard.
“I didn’t interrupt anything, did I, Jake?” – Turmoil asked him as she closed the garage door again.
“She was going to ask me something… I don’t know what… But I started thinking she might have discovered who the SWAT Kats really are…”- he said, thoughtfully rubbing his chin.
“What makes you think that? You didn’t gave away any clues when you talked with her this afternoon!” – she asked back, leaning on the tow-truck.
“Maybe you’re right… Maybe I *am* getting paranoid… All this about Dark Kat’s creeplings here in the salvage yard has made me suspicious of everything…” – he said as he shook his head and closed his eyes.
“Speaking of whom, when do we attack that creep, anyway?” – she asked, smacking her right fist into her left palm.
“There’s nothing we can do about that right now! I don’t know where he’s hiding! The ball’s in his court now! He has to play his next move… and, when he does it, we’ll be right on top of him… to whip his tail and send him to his grave…” – Jake said, growling and narrowing his eyes.
Turmoil looked a little bit surprised. She wanted to finish off Dark Kat too, but that wouldn’t be the SWAT Kats’ way… Now Jake wanted to kill him too…
Although his reasons were understandable, she began thinking like a SWAT Kat when she joined Jake and she thought now that even Dark Kat had the right to stand a fair trial.
“He may get life sentence for everything he did… or even the capital penalty…” – she thought – “We’d be saving the taxpayers the cost of a trial if we’d kill him right away but that wouldn’t be fair… I stood trial and I was convicted… And, that hell was far worse then dying… The only reason I didn’t commit suicide was you, Chance… Like that old song says, ‘you light up my life, you give me hope to carry on, you light up my days and fill my nights with dawn…”
The night had set in. In Feral’s private infirmary, the big kat looked at the moon slowly rising in the horizon. His eyes blazed like coal on fire as the silver light penetrated in his pupils. He was trying to set his thoughts in order, trying to figure out what happened to him. He could only say the Holy Kats had laid their paw over him, shielding him from the terrible accident. Felina entered the darkened room, letting some of the light outside to invade it.
“Close the door, please.” – he asked softly – “Don’t turn on the lights. I like it that way.”
She did as he asked. She sat on the bed next to him.
“Lieutenant, I want to ask you something.”
“Shoot!” – she replied.
He looked outside again, towards the rising moon. His voice was still raspy, but he could speak much better now.
“How did you find me? And, don’t spare me the sordid details, please. I want to know exactly how I was when I was found.”
He kept his face looking out the window, his eyes following the silver orb in its slow ascent in the dark skies. She cleared her throat and began talking.
“I must say we looked for you almost three days in a row. You were lying in an alley, half covered with junk. I barely saw you. I just noticed a strange looking lump on one corner of the alley. Then, I saw something that grabbed my attention.
Running from the lump. I ran to you and took off the sheets of newspaper and the garbage away from you. You were standing in fetal position with your right side up. I turned you so you’d be lying in your back. Believe me, you weren’t a sight for weak stomachs. You were banged up pretty bad.
There was a nasty wound in your left arm that was bleeding like hell. Your face was all cut up and soaked in blood. Your chest was bleeding too but most of it was burnt and so were your legs. Your right thigh had a shard of metal riveted in it. Needless to say it was bleeding like hell too. Apart from those major wounds, your body was scratched in several places and your skin was as purple in some places as Dark Kat’s fur.
After three days in those conditions, I wondered if you were still alive but you were. Your heart was still beating and, though labored, you were breathing nevertheless. I didn’t know if you had any internal injuries but you had to be removed. I took you to my uncle’s private infirmary so
you could have a little more privacy. The doctors who watched for you found five ribs broken, your right shoulder and your right ankle dislocated. Apparently, your constitution and your bones protected your internal organs from being damaged. And that’s the whole setting.” – she finished with a low sigh.
A tear dropped from her right eye and she wiped it out immediately, hoping he didn’t see it.
He was still staring at the moon, now almost completely out of the window frame.
“I guess I *really* should thank the Holy Kats for not letting me die of blood loss. And the doctors here,” – he purred – “And you. Thank you, Felina. You saved my life. I’m eternally thankful to you… and to Feral…”
That last comment caught her off guard. He sensed it.
“Yes, Feral too. I gotta admit it, if he really wanted me dead all he had to do was to refuse my stay in here. I must thank him too.”
He sighed loudly and grimaced. The pain in his chest returned, reminding him he wasn’t safe yet.
“By the way, when will the butchers chop me?” – he asked, grinning at Felina.
She returned his grin and answered in a low voice.
“They say it may be too early to chop you, as you put it. You just slipped out of a coma. On the other paw, they say they can’t wait too much longer, that bullet’s been inside you for thirty days already. They said it would be better for you to rest another week, so they would have time to run the proper tests on you and verify everything’s in order. Then, in a week, they will remove the bullet from your lung. Are you having trouble breathing?”
“Only when I laugh…” – he answered.
She couldn’t help to smile. It was never boring being with that tom-kat.
“Get some rest now.” – she said as she checked the bottle of physiologic serum. It was dripping at a satisfying rate.
She leaned over to him and gently kissed his forehead.
“Sleep well.” – she stated as she departed.
He wished the same for her.
“Good night to you too, buddy.” – he thought – “I woke up just a few hours ago and I’m missing you already… I just hope you’re okay…”
Viper shuddered a bit when Dark Kat entered the laboratory he had built for him in a lava tube inside the volcano.
The lab was equipped with every bit of scientific artillery Viper could think of. It was even better than his own laboratory back in Megakat Swamp.
Freezers, a hotte, a centrifuge, a spectrophotometer, a gene sequencer, three supercomputers attached to the sequencer and to the spectrophotometer, all the glass material and, of course, all the required organic and inorganic chemical compounds, including the rare biochemical compounds known as katalyst 100, katalyst X63 and Viper Mutagen 368 were part of the lab’s contents.
“My dear Dr. Viper.” – Dark Kat purred as he got closer to the reptilian scientist. He laid a huge paw on Viper’s right shoulder. Viper shuddered a little, which pleased the bulky kat. “How is your research going?”
“Very well, sssir.” – Viper managed to say, pointing to a beaker containing a dark blue liquid
“Although I haven’t been able to develop the adminissstration mode of the ssserum to your requessst, I am now pleasssed to tell you, sssir, that it can be injected in the bloodssstream, causssing the sssame effect.”
He ventured to look to Dark Kat but the purple kat’s face remained expressionless. The green kat expected the worst.
“It is an enhancement, nevertheless.” – Dark Kat said, tightening his grip on Viper’s shoulder until it hurt. “But I want more! I want it developed to be effective through inhalation. You’ve been tinkering with the serum for the past month day and night. I *don’t* believe you stepped forward so little. You’re hiding something from me, Viper! I feel it in my bones!”
He dug his claws on the reptilian scientist’s shoulder, ripping it.
“If I find out you’re betraying me, I will have no mercy this time! You will be incinerated alive in the lava pit in front of my throne!”
He released his grip on Viper’s shoulder. The lab coat was stained green at his scapula.
“But to prove you I’m merciful, I will wait thirty more days for the developed serum. If it isn’t ready by then, there are more biochemists in this city I can replace you with.”
He took a syringe from his cloak and filled it with the serum Viper said could be injected in the bloodstream.
“Let’s see if it works like you said. Give me your arm.”
Viper extended his left arm while his reptilian healing abilities were taking care of the severed shoulder already.
Dark Kat stuck the needle in one of Viper’s arteries and pushed the embolus. The blue serum was injected and Viper shivered for a while, losing consciousness a little while later.
A devilish grin appeared on Dark Kat’s face. He left the scientist and returned to his ‘throne room’.
A short while after the purple kat’s departure, Viper opened his eyes and rose from the floor.
“That wasss a clossse one!” – he thought to himself – “I can’t let Dark Kat know what I’ve been doing here…”
He went to the lab bench and opened a drawer. He retrieved the syringe from the wrap of plastic and stuck it in one of the arteries on his arm.
He retrieved 20 cc’s of his green blood and dropped exactly five cc’s in each of four clean test tubes. He closed them and inserted two in the slots of the centrifuge, each in the opposite direction of the other. Closing the lid, the green kat programmed the machine to 3000 rpm and 5 minutes.
While it was centrifuging, Viper diluted the other two samples in distilled water in order to disrupt his blood cells. He retrieved the first tubes and then placed the other two tubes on the centrifuge and let them rotate at 3000 rpm for 5 minutes.
The first two tubes showed a separation of his blood cells. There was a clear liquid on top and a green liquid in the bottom, which made about 40% of the total volume.
When the centrifuge stopped, he retrieved the second two test tubes. There was a clear solution in them.
He filled a spectrophotometer cuvette with distilled water in order to calibrate the reading for null absorbency. He then inserted a cuvette with the solution of his blood and determined the absorption specter for his blood from 450 to 700 nanometers, with intervals of 10 nm.
He headed for the computer’s keyboard and struck a few keys. On the screen a graphic was shown. The graphic had two spikes, one at 540 nm and the other at 580 nm.
“Everything’sss normal! My red… hmm… green blood cellsss have the right proportion, my white blood cellsss were in a thin layer above them and I have enough plasssma. The peaksss on the absssorbency graphic tell me my hemoglobin isss perfectly functional.” – he shook his head.
“I don’t get it! The neurological ssserum isss ineffective on me and I’m posssitive my blood hasss sssomething to do with that. But everything’sss normal! Wait… Wait a minute… That’sss it! Everything’sss normal… for a kat! I’m a *mutated* kat, ssso everything’sss wrong with me!
Now that I think of it, my metabolisssm should have ssslowed down… However, I ssstill need thessse large amounts of hemoglobin… Maybe that’sss it!”
Viper returned to the lab bench, tail waving crazily in the air.
“It mussst be it! I’ve found it! The antidote to the neurological ssserum! Watch out, Dark Kat! Dr. Viper may be down but he’sss not out!”
He gave a dry chuckle and returned to his work.
Jake sat upright suddenly in the bed, shivering and covered in perspiration.
At least he hadn’t screamed this time, waking up Turmoil. He shook his head and leaned it against his knees, embracing them.
This time, it had been the most frightful nightmare of all he had since the crash. T-Bone died again, but not by accident or by any of Megakat City’s villains.
This time, *Razor* had cold-bloodedly assassinated T-Bone.
He shuddered again with that thought.
What was going on? Why did he have this nightmare? Why did he kill his best friend? Why did he murder his ‘brother’?
Tears dropped from his shut eyes.
Dark Kat killing his friend was one thing, but *him*… murdering T-Bone cold-bloodedly…
He couldn’t bear to think about it.
And, he couldn’t get back to sleep either. He stepped out of the bed as silently as he could. He took his mechanic overalls and exited the room, trying not to wake up Turmoil. He dressed in the living room and headed for the garage, where he dug under the hood of the car, trying to fix it and to keep his mind busy.
Although Jake was silent, Turmoil was awake. She woke up when Jake was still having his nightmare and squirming under the sheet. She heard him sitting up in the bed and his labored breathing while tears were dropping from his eyes. She felt her heart shrink when she heard that.
Though hard tom-kat he was, Jake didn’t hide his feelings like many others that she had known, Chance included.
All it took was a careful eye to spot it. She felt an urge to comfort him, but then she heard him leaving the room. Her eyes welling up in pity for him, but the tears never slid down.
It was a different kind of love that bonded Jake and Chance, she thought.
A love much, much stronger than any other kind, even stronger than the passion she had for Chance.
It was brotherly love.
The dawn came unannounced. The first morning rays hit the big kat in the face. He was already awake. A nightmare had robbed his sleep. It was one of the few times he saw the sunrise in Megakat City.
It was a breathtaking sight, the red orb turning golden as it passed by the twin skyscrapers of Megakat Trade Towers, the skies turning from black and dark blue to purple and red and then, finally, to yellow and green.
Four days had elapsed since he woke up from his coma. Today was the big day, when he would be submitted to surgery. The doctors tested him in a hundred different ways. He was almost fully recovered. He was doing so fine they decided to operate him a little bit earlier than expected. Although he was calmer than he expected, the nightmare had startled him a bit.
In it he saw his friend on an operating table instead of him, his chest fully opened. The doctors were massaging his heart manually, something that only rarely happened and he knew it.
It had stopped beating after the battle his friend had with Dark Kat and the doctors weren’t able to restore its rhythm now. The electrocardiograph was showing a line.
They gave up a little later.
Then, the big kat woke up. The worst thing, besides seeing his best friend die, was the helpless feeling he had. He couldn’t do anything to help and it was terrifying. His thoughts were interrupted when Feral and Felina entered the room.
“I didn’t hear you knock, commander, but you know you’re welcome anytime!” he said sardonically and grinned. He couldn’t help it. It seemed like it was in his genes.
Feral’s stone-hard face hardened even more, if that was possible.
“You jerk!” – he said and gave him a little grin. – “I thought you’d like to know I ordered the doctors to assassinate you when you’re under the anesthesia!”
“Uncle!” – Felina said. She knew he was kidding, something she had never expected her uncle to do. “Don’t scare him off, will you?”
“Scare *him*? Ha! I thought he wasn’t afraid of *anything*!
“Lieutenant! You’re embarrassing me!” – the brawny kat said with half a grin on his snout.
“So, is this the time when I go to the slaughter-house and get chopped?”
Feral couldn’t help to smile, but he was facing the window so he was sure T-Bone didn’t see it.
“You bet!” – he said from his standpoint – “I’d help, but I didn’t bring my white coat, so I guess I’ll leave it to my insiders.”
“*Uncle*!” – Felina warned him a second time, this time with a more fierce tone in her voice.
The nurses came and took the big kat out of his bed and onto a stretcher, pushing him out of Feral’s infirmary and into the operating room. When the nurses stopped to open the doors to the sterilized room, the big kat grinned to Feral and his niece, who had accompanied him.
“If someone cares to say goodbye to me, I think the time is now.”
Felina reassured him everything was going to be okay
“*Now* you really got me worried, Lieutenant!” – he said.
“You clown…” – she kissed two fingers and placed them on the kat’s forehead.
Feral came by and grabbed him tightly by his shoulder.
“We’ll be waiting for you to return safe and sound, soldier. Good luck.”
He backed away from the stretcher and saluted him. The big kat was too stunned by Feral’s actions to salute him back. In a few seconds, the doors closed and he disappeared inside the operating room.
“I hope he returns well. Although he is a hotshot jerk, anyway.” – Feral said and walked down the corridor toward his office with Felina behind him.
The brawny kat stared at the featureless ceiling of the operations room. He had never felt so helpless as in those few minutes that preceded the surgery procedure.
He was shivering, whether it was from the cold metallic table underneath him or with fear, he couldn’t tell.
A silver-furred tom-kat came to him and spoke in a soothing tone.
“I’m Dr. Conrad and I’ll be your anesthetist for today. How are we doing today?” – he said while he was filling a syringe with a diaphanous liquid.
“F-fine… W-why d-don’t you t-turn on t-the heat? It’s f-f-freezing in here!” – he said, shivering.
Dr. Conrad smiled and rubbed a spot on the brawny left arm of the kat with a piece of cotton wool soaked in disinfectant.
“You’ll feel a lot better after this, I can assure you. Now relax, please.”
He relaxed his muscles and the needle penetrated easily in his artery. The liquid entered his bloodstream and its effects began a few minutes after. He relaxed even more, a sense of sleepiness began overwhelming him.
His eyes unfocused. He began seeing blurred forms come to him. He knew they were kats but he couldn’t discern who they were.
And it didn’t seem to matter, anyway. Nothing seemed to matter now.
He looked to the big form in front of him, directly in its face.
That was odd!
It seemed like the face was purple. To his right he saw something peculiar too. A green face!
How could that be?
The back of his mind was screaming for him to react, to wake up.
But it didn’t matter now.
Nothing mattered for him now.
He closed his eyes and let the sleepiness overthrow his consciousness.
“Finally, I’ve finissshed a batch of the antidote.” – Viper said as he emptied the content of an Erlenmeyer beaker into a flask.
The liquid had a rusty transparent color that contrasted vividly with the developed serum, which was now bright translucent blue.
Now, I can pleassse Dark Kat with hisss ssserum. He won’t win now that I have the antidote.”
The green scientist gave a dry chuckle while he settled the bottle inside a wood case along with another nine and nailed it. He suddenly heard a squeak and the sound of glass breaking. He spun his head and saw three of Dark Kat’s creeplings rushing out of the lab.
“NO!” – he thought, running after the little critters – “If they tell Dark Kat I developed an antidote for hisss ssserum, I’m dead!”
He jumped in front of them and grabbed two of them with his tail. With a simple squeeze of his powerful extremity he crushed the fragile bodies of the little critters.
However, one of them sneaked between his legs and managed to get away.
Despaired, Viper ran towards his fungus and gave him the case with the antidote.
“Guard thisss with your life! Don’t let Dark Kat or any of hisss alliesss put their pawsss on it. Allow accesssss only to me… or to the SSSWAT Katsss… Now GO!”
The giant mutated mushroom engulfed the case and began oxidizing the basalt wall with his acid fluids. In a few seconds, he was gone. Viper hit the top of the tunnel repeatedly with his tail in order to seal the passage.
His tail was bleeding and burnt like hell.
But, the pain he was feeling was nothing compared with what he felt in his mind at being forced to accept the help of the SWAT Kats if it became necessary.
“VIPER!” – Dark Kat bellowed as he burst into the lab.
“I will destroy you with my bare paws, you treacherous salamander!”
His devilish eyes blazed like torches. Viper turned to him.
“I’m glad you came, sssir!” – he said, trying to pretend everything was okay but being betrayed by a tip of nervousness in his speech. “I’ve jussst finissshed my tasssk! The ssserum isss effective when inhaled now!”
“Your pathetic lies won’t save your tail now, Viper!” – Dark Kat roared as he grabbed Viper by his neck and easily lifted him from the ground. Viper fought the urge to snake his tail around the purple kat’s neck. Instead, he just spoke to him.
“But sssir… It’sss true… The ssserum his developed… There…” He pointed toward the lab bench. “There’sss an entire batch I jussst made. Jussst put it in an ssspray and sssee for yourssself!”
The bulky kat seemed to power down a little. He tossed the reptilian scientist away. If what Viper was saying was true, then he didn’t need him any longer. But his creeplings ahd told him that Viper had made an antidote as well.
But there wasn’t anything in sight.
At least anything suspicious.
“Very well, Viper, I will believe you one more time, but I am growing tired of you!”
He headed for Viper and grabbed him by his neck again, tightening his grip so that it became difficult for the green kat to breathe.
“But, hear my words, Viper. If I *ever* suspect you again, I’ll kill you no matter whether I’m right or not.”
He tossed him away again and left the lab, slamming the door shut. The creepling that had warned Dark Kat was trapped inside.
Viper’s eyes glowed in rage. He grinned at the creepling, showing his powerful fangs. He fully unsheathed his claws and hissed furiously.
He pounced toward the creepling.
The little critter was so frightened it didn’t even move when Viper slashed its chest with his claws. He pinned the tiny ripped body to the ground with both paws and dug his fangs into its flesh, scattering and breaking the creepling’s bones.
When he finished shredding the pink critter, his snout and fangs were dripping with purple blood.
With his eyes still glowing he roared in victory, a deafeningly loud sound inside his lab.
“Huh? Where am I?” – the brawny kat muttered to nobody in particular as he woke up from the drug-induced sleep.
He was already in Feral’s private infirmary, on the bed where he had lain for the past month. His vision was still unfocused and he saw two blurred forms approaching. The smaller one talked to him. It was Felina.
“It’s okay – you’re all right now.” – she said soothingly as she laid a paw reassuringly on his shoulder. “You’re back in my uncle’s room.”
“Your uncle?” – he babbled – “Is it you, Commander?” – he asked pointing to his left – “I’m sorry, my vision’s still clouded.”
Feral frowned. He had never apologized him for anything.
“Lieutenant, could you leave me alone with your uncle for a second. There’s something I need to tell him.”
“Sure.” – she said as she left the room. She stopped at the door. “If you need anything, just yell. I’ll be right outside.”
She closed the door. The big kat could see almost perfectly now.
Feral assumed his usual scowl. “I’m waiting. What is it?”
“Thank you, Commander.”
Feral was shocked! He had never expected to hear it from that kat! He regained his posture immediately.
“For allowing me to stay here. You probably saved my life.”
He offered a paw to Feral. Hesitantly, Feral accepted it and both kats shook paws. Feral couldn’t contain himself anymore and despite the bandages the big kat had wrapping his chest, he leaned toward him and gave him a tight hug, which caught him completely off guard.
“C-commander? What the heck…?” – he managed to say.
Feral let him go and sat on the bed.
“There’s something I need to tell you too. I know you just came out of surgery and need rest, but this time is as good as any other to say that…”
Words didn’t come out. He looked at the brawny kat, inhaled and let out a long sigh…
“…you’re my son, Furlong!”
T-Bone was caught in a double shock! Feral knew he and Chance Furlong were the same kat!
But even more shocking was the revelation that Feral was his father! He remained there, jaws wide open in complete disbelief. He suddenly narrowed his eyes. He took off the mask and revealed his identity, growling.
“That’s low, Feral!” – Chance snarled – “You know I don’t have any family! I don’t have brothers! I grew up on the streets! My mom died when I was six!”
His eyes welled up when he spoke of his mother and heavy teardrops ran across his facial fur
“I never had any one! Only the Holy Kats know how I wanted to belong to a family! Well, I didn’t find a family in the true meaning of the word, but I did found a brother: Jake!
He’s my family!
He’s everything that matters to me!
He and my bride are the most important kats in this whole wild world.
Now you come to me and say you’re my father! It’s sickening! If you wanted to hurt me, you could have stabbed me in the back, ’cause it would have been less painful!”
He wiped his tears with the back of his paw. Only then did he notice a single tear running down Feral’s face.
Feral was shocked. He never believed Chance would welcome him right away, but he never thought he would take it as a personal attack. He rose from the bed and exited the room.
Felina saw his face and immediately realized something was wrong. She rushed inside the room and saw Chance putting on his mask.
“Chance! What do you think you’re doing?” – she said worriedly as she ran towards him.
“Leave me alone, Felina! Don’t make me hate you too!” – he grimaced when he tried to dress up the sleeves of the severed G-suit.
“You’re in no condition to leave! You just came out of surgery! You need to rest!” – she said as she tried to stop him.
“I’m not staying here one more second!” – he growled – “I hate your uncle, Felina! I never imagined he could play so low! My father! Ha!”
Felina grabbed his face and forced him to turn his gaze to her.
“He *is* your father!” – She shot out.
She uncovered his right arm and showed him the mark he had near his elbow.
“My uncle has the same mark on his right elbow! He had your life investigated. He made your mother pregnant shortly before they broke apart! They never spoke to each other again. He just found out you were his son a month ago!”
T-Bone looked at her for a second and then started putting on his G-suit again.
“I don’t believe you!” – he said.
“Have I ever lied to you, T-Bone?” – she retorted, her eyes pleading for him to stay.
He looked at her. He powered down a bit. He was confused. His mind was swirling. He sank onto the bed.
“T-Bone? Are you okay?” – she asked, concern spread all over her words.
“I’m all right. It’s just… It can’t be!” – he said, shaking his head.
“What? What is it?”
“He can’t be my father! He just can’t! We’re completely different! I mean, just look at us! I’m a tabby and he’s plain brown! He’s taller than I am! He has amber eyes, I don’t! We’re completely different!”
“I know it’s disturbing, but how do you explain the mark? Both of you have it!”
He shook his head and sank it against his bandaged chest.
“T-Bone, if you want, we can do a DNA test to be positive!”
He looked at her. His eyes bore no anger now, just an immense sadness, something she never thought was possible in him. But this kat had carried a burden of sadness on his back since he was just a kitten.
“I never met my dad…” – he said in a low voice, eyes boring holes in the ground.
“Mom told me he was a fighter pilot that was sent to the Persian Gulf and was shot down there. That’s why I wanted to be an enforcer pilot…
The best of all…
So that my dad would be proud of me…”
He let a single tear roll out over his face, his voice became ragged.
“And now you tell me he’s alive and he’s the one who booted me out of the force?”
“I know it’s hard to accept it, T-Bone, but that seems to be the truth!” – she said as she put an arm over his broad shoulders.
“And I know he’s proud of you! As a SWAT Kat! You saved him so many times! You saved this *city* so many times! Do you think he wouldn’t be proud of you?”
He closed his eyes and gritted his teeth, trying to fight the torrent of emotions that was subduing him. But it was too overwhelming! He turned to Felina and embraced her, the gates of his lachrymal pits wide open.
She just caressed his back and let him cry silently.
She was confused too. She never thought the big tabby to be so sentimental but she understood his behavior.
She thought she would behave like that if she never met her family and then, suddenly, a relative was thrown in her way.
Three days elapsed.
T-Bone had remained in Feral’s infirmary, recovering from surgery. Feral never showed up there anymore and only Felina visited him three times a day, when she was off duty. T-Bone was recovering well and his injuries were almost completely healed.
In the salvage yard, Jake and Turmoil filled their days repairing cars and practicing when they could. Jake’s aim was better than ever and Turmoil’s flying skills grew every day nearer T-Bone’s.
It was nearly dawn now. Every kat in Megakat City was asleep. However, back in Megakat National Park’s volcano something was about to happen.
The PastMaster had finally slipped out of his trance and opened his eye. A smile of satisfaction emerged on his skeletal snout. He headed for the ‘throne room’ and bowed to Dark Kat. The bulky purple kat straightened and leaned to the sorcerer in anticipation, a rush of adrenaline streaming in his arteries.
“I’ve found it, sire!” – the sorcerer said while he was looking to the ground – “I’ve found the Dark Pyramid!”
Dark Kat couldn’t believe his words. Could it be true? Could he have his powers back after all this time?
“Where is it?” – Dark Kat asked, exhilaration in his voice.
“It’s a continent away, but I can make it appear wherever you want, sire!” – the sorcerer replied.
A devilish grin appeared on Dark Kat’s face.
“I want it here – right in the center of Megakat City!”
His eyes blazed on anticipation.
The PastMaster simply nodded. “Consider it done, sire!” – the skeletal figure closed his eye and raised his arms as he began chanting a spell. The watch in his left paw glowed to life and a purple beam of light came out, directed upward.
The beam went out of the volcano through its crater and rushed toward Megakat City Municipal Park, where it sank in the ground with the roar of thunder, awakening the entire dormant city.
Meanwhile, Dark Kat summoned all his allies.
“The time has come, my slaves! Today, the world will bear testimony to the power of Dark Kat and his Dark Pyramid! But, there are some things to be done before I can destroy this puny planet! And I count on you, my slaves, to protect the Dark Pyramid while it’s not fully operational!
Metallikats, you will help Mutilor and Hard Drive with their drones. You will be my first line of defense.
Viper, I count on your plantimals to defend the Dark Pyramid. I require a wall of your trademark brakes and briars surrounding the Dark Pyramid. The PastMaster will join you when he finishes his present task.
Go on, my loyal slaves! It’s doomsday time!”
The villains scattered. The Metallikats, Mutilor and Hard Drive headed for the hangar and went inside three ‘Destroyers,’ letting the drones guide them towards Megakat City.
Viper went to the lab.
“I better follow hisss orderssssssss!” – he thought – “I don’t want to become a roasted lizard. Although I could have usssed a little more time to prepare the sssolutionsssssssss with the katalissstsssssss. Well, I’ll just have to ussse my plant growth formula.
Maybe I have time to make a few giant wassspssssss with katalissst 99 and Viper Mutagen 368. And, a few giant mutated frogsss with katalissst X63. Let’sss sssee what I can do on sssuch short notissse.”
He then began mixing all the chemicals he needed.
Dark Kat was in the hangar, commanding his creeplings while they were loading a bomb inside the cargo bay of the Doomsday Express.
“Careful, my creeplings! We don’t want any accidents now and miss out on all the excitement, do we? When this bomb blows up, the serum will spread all over Megakat City. All katizens will be forced to inhale it and then, they will all become my slaves! But, that won’t happen before I restore my dark powers and set my masters free again!”
He burst out in a devilish laughter as he entered his aircraft and flew out of the hangar.
Meanwhile, on the salvage yard, Jake and Turmoil woke up with the crack of thunder, as well as all Megakat City. They exchanged curious looks.
“What was that?” – she asked.
Jake shrugged. “It sounded like an explosion! Or a lightning cracking awfully close!”
He stepped outside of the room and headed to the garage, opening the gate. The sun was about to rise and everything seemed normal except for a fresh wind that suddenly came to life.
He felt a chill running along his spine. Something was wrong. That wind wasn’t natural.
“You feel it too?” – he turned to Turmoil.
“The wind? You bet! It’s kind of… supernatural!” – she shivered a bit – “What do you think, Jake?”
“It can only be one thing!” – he said, narrowing his eyes – “The PastMaster! I just can’t locate any storm brewing! His time portals usually come with a storm of wind and lightning.” – he squinted in the distance – “But there’s none!”
“Maybe it’s just a normal storm this time.”
“Maybe.” – he said, not completely convinced.
Both kats went inside and headed into the kitchen for breakfast.
“What the heck was that?” – T-Bone said from the bed.
He woke up too with the thundering roar of the beam. He caught a glimpse of it and it didn’t seem like an ordinary lightning bolt.
“I’ve got a bad feeling about this! I just hope the Enforcers can handle whatever will happen!”
For at least half an hour after the cracking sound, nothing happened. Dark Kat began fearing for his Dark Pyramid. But then, the show began.
The ground shook like a wild horse, opening large cracks that radiated from the park. Four obelisks made of black rock began slowly lifting from the ground, unearthing century’s old trees.
The skyscrapers were shaken and a few didn’t resist the tremor, falling in big chunks of concrete and steel. The others that were still surviving the tremor started darting big shards of glass toward the ground, annihilating every living thing with whom they contacted.
Then, the tremor intensified.
Dark Kat watched with glee as the top of his Dark Pyramid began slowly cropping out of the ground. In a few minutes, the infamous monument was completely unearthed as buildings of all sizes tumbled in a deadly bow to it.
Dark Kat landed his Doomsday Express near the black rock monument and rushed inside it.
Viper, who came with him inside his ship, began spraying the remaining trees and plants with his growth formula. In a few minutes, they developed thorns and grew as a wall surrounding the pyramid. He summoned his plantimals from the ship’s cargo bay and placed them around the entrance of the black monument.
Mutilor and Hard Drive’s drones were flying like buzzards around the top of the pyramid, which stood up nearly 300 meters above the ground level, dwarfing City Hall and Megakat Trade Towers. Its base occupied most of the nine square kilometers of the park.
The PastMaster transported himself to there and, with his watch, he summoned a few dozen living-dead skeletons from the graveyard and put them between each obelisk, completing the perimeter defense of the Dark Pyramid.
Jake and Turmoil were startled by the tremor when they were finishing their breakfast. Jake ran out with Turmoil just behind him.
He was shocked to see what was happening in Megakat City.
They both watched in bewilderment as the ominous dark triangular shape slowly lifted from the ground, covering the rising sun as buildings collapsed to make room for it.
“Now I’m sure this is work of the PastMaster!” – he said – “LET’S HIT IT!”
Both kats ran to the hangar. The klaxon was already ringing when they came down there.
Jake picked it up. “Yes, Miss Briggs. We’re aware of the problem. We’ll check it out right away!”
“Wait! You won’t believe who’s behind this!” – Callie said with a tone of disbelief. – “Guys, the PastMaster, Dr. Viper and Dark Kat are working together!”
He was surprised. He wasn’t expecting another evil alliance with Dark Kat.
“We’re on our way, Miss Briggs. Razor out!”
He turned to his locker and put on his G-suit as fast he could. Katana was already aboard the Turbokat, checking its systems. He jumped on board and she gunned the engines while the canopy was closing. The jet hurtled forward down the access tunnel and flew out of the underground hangar toward Megakat City.
“CRUD!” – T-Bone screamed as he got up from the bed.
He wanted to go to the window and have a look at what was happening outside, but he knew he shouldn’t do so while the tremor lasted. As reinforcement to his hesitation, the window simply burst and shards of glass scattered around that area.
“What the heck’s happening?”
Felina entered the room in that instant to check up on him.
“Are you okay?”
“I’m fine! But what’s happening outside? It looks like MegaWar III!”
“Nothing the Enforcers can’t handle! Now go back to your bed! You’re not completely well!”
“Not well? Lieutenant, the city’s falling apart and you tell me I’m not well? I gotta help Razor!” – he said pushing his way toward his G-suit but Felina held him tightly. She turned out to be stronger than he was expecting.
“You can’t help anybody if you’re not fully restored!” – she pleaded to him – “Let the Enforcers handle this! It’s just an earthquake! There’s nothing the SWAT Kats can do about that!”
He calmed down a bit.
She was right.
As far as he could tell, it was a normal earthquake…
A very, very long one but, still, an earthquake!
Besides, he didn’t heard the Turbokat yet. He didn’t know if that was a good or a bad thing. It could mean that there wasn’t any emergency situation or that Razor didn’t survive the crash although he had ejected him.
He sat in the bed and sighed.
“Okay, Felina… I’ll stay put…”
“Good! I gotta go now! See if you get some rest, okay? See you!”
She got out of the room and he headed for the G-suit, putting it on.
Just in case.
He looked out of the window. The rumble had passed now and everything was a mess in the streets. He then heard a familiar sound.
It flashed right over his head. So, Razor was still alive!
“YES! WAY TO GO, RAZOR!” – he shouted. But then, his joy faded. If the SWAT Kats were called, then there was trouble.
And, he couldn’t think of anyone else but Dark Kat.
He narrowed his eyes until they were nothing but thin slits and growled.
“Get ready, Dark Kat… ’cause nothing will save your tail from us now! I gotta get back to the hangar and get my glovatrix. Something tells me I’m gonna need it! But, I’m gonna need a lift as well to get back there.”
He got out of the room and headed for the tarmac on the roof of Enforcer Headquarters. He saw a jet in the hangar and got into it.
“Just like the old Enforcer days!” – he thought.
He checked the jet’s systems and then gunned the engines. The jet hurtled forward and lifted off Enforcer Headquarters. Fortunately, everyone was so busy helping the victims of the tremor no one noticed him.
“I hope ‘dad’ doesn’t mind me borrowing one of his jets!” – he thought and directed the jet towards the salvage yard.
Inside the Dark Pyramid, Dark Kat immediately found what he was looking for. He stepped inside the main chamber, standing in the center of the black monolith. Four black statues stood in the four corners and a shallow pool of a purple liquid remained in the center of the chamber. He grinned at the sight. He entered in the pool and walked until he was in the middle of it. He then raised his arms and began chanting.
“Cauldron! CAULDRON! Hear me! Hear your master!”
The liquid began churning as a faint purple glow emerged from it.
“Restore my youth, Cauldron! I command you!”
The glow intensified all of a sudden and the liquid rushed upward, covering Dark Kat’s bulk. The liquid defied the pull of gravity for several minutes until it started to settle down again. Dark Kat remained in the same place.
He wasn’t the same kat anymore, although his features remained the same. He stepped out of the pool. He felt renewed, pulsating with energy and power. He headed for a pulpit-like platform and once again raised his arms, now even more muscular than before.
“My masters! Hear me! Awake from your perpetual sleep! MASTER HEL! MASTER PLUTO! MASTER HADES! MASTER SETH! AWAKE!”
The statues’ eyes glowed red.
“Yes! YES, MASTERS! IT IS ME, DARK KAT, YOUR LOYAL SERVANT!”
The cavernous voice of Seth spoke for all
“Dark Kat! We need more time to step into this world. Amon’s curse was too powerful. We’ll need more energy to leave the limbo where we were sent!”
“Then, I shall give it to you!”
He turned to the purple pool again.
“Cauldron! Drain the energy of this pathetic planet… NOW!”
Outside of the pyramid, the top of the obelisks crackled as a burst of purple lightning shot from them, directed to the top of the pyramid. The bright skies started turning darker by the minute as a swirl of dark clouds formed on top of the black monolith.
The Dark Pyramid was beginning to drain the energy of the atmosphere.
Suddenly, gale force winds started blowing as heavy clouds merged with the swirl, releasing bursts of lightning that lit the entire city. Then, a torrent of purple energy left the swirl of clouds and rushed down to the top of the pyramid.
The Turbokat was fighting the threatening winds.
“CRUD! I’ve never seen a storm like this, Razor! I don’t know if I can hold her much longer!” – Katana said as she tried to keep the jet leveled.
“Try to hold her still! I’ve got that pyramid right in my sights! Baby-Boomer Missiles… AWAY!
Two missiles were fired at the top of the pyramid but two ‘Mutilators’ intercepted them with a shot of prasium laser.
“Next time you better shoot with your eyes open, SWAT Kat.”
A voice crackled over the radio. Razor couldn’t believe it.
It was Hard Drive!
“You are no match for my drones, SWAT Kats!” – the radio crackled again.
Razor recognized that voice too.
That was impossible! They destroyed him years before!
“What’s the matter, SWAT Kats? Kat ate your tongues?” – Mac and Molly said.
Razor was dumbfounded!
The Metallikats, the PastMaster, Hard Drive, Mutilor, Dr. Viper and Dark Kat… All together! His thoughts were interrupted as a blast of prasium laser passed directly over the canopy.
“What do we do now, Razor?” – Katana asked as she dodged the blasts from the twenty drones.
“We fight back! Smoke screen… NOW!”
Razor pressed a button and red smoke burst out of the jet. Some of the ‘Mutilators’ seemed confused and attacked each other. Others crashed against the pyramid. When the smoke got thinner, only fifteen drones remained in the air.
Mutilor took the lead and attacked the black jet. Razor was expecting him.
“Come on, you four-armed creep! I’m waiting! Cement machine-gun! FIRE!”
Cement rained on Mutilor’s ‘Destroyer’. Too heavy to continue to fly, the light drone plummeted down and crashed against the living wall of thorns. The vines grabbed the ship and tightened their grip around it, crushing it and Mutilor.
Two missiles were shot from the Turbokat. Their nose cones broadened and an immense flare lit the entire sky, blinding Hard Drive and jamming the optic receivers of the Metallikats, causing them to crash down. Viper’s plantimals oxidized the mega-alloy with their acidic sap, causing the drones to explode.
Hard Drive managed to get out in time, but the blast of his ‘Destroyer’ caught him in the back, knocking him out.
The remaining drones engaged the Turbokat and opened fire on it. One of the blasts hit the underside of the jet but the mega-alloy armor protected it.
“Let’s see how you like a Turbo-Blade!”
Six Turbo-Blades were shot from the Turbokat’s wings and found their targets. However, their ABA mega-alloy armor protected them from the hits.
“Crud! Well, since explosives and cutters don’t work, how about a little electricity? Scrambler Missile barrage… AWAY!”
Ten scrambler missiles were fired, each of them aimed to a different drone. The seven remaining ‘Destroyers’ were hit as well as three ‘Mutilators’. Their circuits were completely toasted by the immense electric discharge from the missiles and they all exploded in the air.
“Now to take care of these two pests! Banshee Missiles… do your thing!”
Two missiles darted from the cargo bay and started emitting high-pitched sonic waves, scrambling the electronic circuitry of the remaining two drones, that crashed against an obelisk, exploding a little later.
“BINGO! We’re clear!”
“Radical shooting, Razor! You rid us of those vultures single-handedly!” – Katana cheered.
Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a burst of energy and dodged the jet before it could hit it.
“Crud! Those robots are still alive!”
The Metallikats had survived the explosion of the drone and were firing their blaster cannons at the jet.
“That’s enough!” – Razor said – “Blowtorch Missiles locked… Loaded… DEPLOYED!”
Five missiles were fired at the Metallikats. The blasts were so great that their bodies were instantly destroyed. Only their battered heads remained. The red glow in their eyes faded as their central processors lost power.
“That should teach them not to meddle with the SWAT Kats.”
But then, the jet bounced.
“Crud, we’re hit!” – Katana said – “That little troll with the watch got us! Gotta… bring her… down…!”
She tried to lift the nose cone but to no avail. The jet wasn’t responding.
“We gotta eject, Razor! It’s outta control!”
“Wait. Launching Cyclotron!”
The red transport shot from the cargo bay. Katana managed to get out of the way of the falling jet. The Turbokat crashed against the wall of vines, exploding and torching the wall.
Now, they had to face the living-dead forces of the PastMaster.
“This would be easier if we still had the Turbokat!” – Razor mumbled. He managed to open his seat and retrieve a missile launcher from there. “Try to gather all those skeletons, Katana! I’ll try to overthrow ’em with a single shot!”
“You got it!”
She began circling the living bones like they were sheep. In a few minutes, Katana managed to get most of them in a tight bundle.
“It’s now or never, Razor!”
“Octopus Missile… AWAY!”
The Octopus Missile hit the skeletal forms and broke them all.
“BINGO! Those bones aren’t moving anymore! Now to take care of the PastMaster!”
He aimed his glovatrix and fired a Mini Spider-Chain Missile at the sorcerer.
The PastMaster still aimed his watch but the missile broke into three parts attached by a chain and he missed the shot. The divided missile wrapped the PastMaster in its chains and let out an electric discharge that knocked the sorcerer unconscious.
“You did it!” – Katana said as she drove the Cyclotron through the flaming opening the Turbokat had made in the vine wall.
“Affirmative! But, now we gotta deal with Dr. Viper!”
“YES! I can see the salvage yard! I just hope I’m not too late to help Razor! That black pyramid gives me the creeps!” – T-Bone said as he decreased the throttle of the Enforcer jet and got ready to fire the VTOL engines. Only then did he remember.
“Aw, crud! I’m not flying the Turbokat! How am I supposed to land this thing here?”
He looked outside, searching for a place to land, but there was nothing he could use.
“Crud! Not enough room to land! I should have taken a chopper instead… Well, guess my only chance is to eject from here and let it crash somewhere safe! I hope ‘dad’ doesn’t mind losing one of his jets!”
He pressed a button and his seat ejected. The jet hurtled toward a corner of the salvage yard and crashed, exploding a little bit later. Fortunately, there was nothing flammable in there.
T-Bone activated the chute and landed softly some distance from the garage. He unbuckled from the seat the moment it touched the ground and ran to the garage and to the hangar. He opened his locker and was surprised to find it stuffed with she-kat’s clothes.
“What the…? What’s going on around here? Huh?”
He looked to the door and saw a picture of Turmoil in a convict suit and himself as Chance Furlong. It wasn’t the best couple picture, but it was the only one they had.
“Katanya? You paired up with Jake? That means… you’re out there, flying the Turbokat with Razor? Aw, crud! I gotta reach ’em!”
He slammed the side of his helmet, activating the radio as he searched for his glovatrix.
“Razor? Razor, do you copy? Razor?”
Nothing but static was the response.
“Crud! Something must be blocking the radio waves!”
He finally found his glovatrix and swiftly slid it on his right arm, loading it with some mini missiles, Turbo-Blades and cement.
“I just hope they didn’t take the Cyclotron!”
He spun to face the hangar. Only the Turbomole, the Hoverkat, the Sandkat and the Hydrokat were there and none of them could get him to the Dark Pyramid fast enough.
“Thanks, Razor!” – he groaned – “Guess my only choice is…”
He slammed a button on the wall near a control console and an elevator started its descent with the tow-truck on it. T-Bone maneuvered the machinery, slowly transforming the tow-truck.
“…the Thundertruck! Let’s *rock*!”
T-Bone entered the black vehicle, buckled up and started the engine. Slamming the truck into gear he stepped on the accelerator until it contacted the floor, making the truck jump forward.
Inside the Dark Pyramid, Dark Kat was trying to restore his full powers but failed in every attempt.
“WHY? Why do you deny me my powers, masters?”
Again, Seth spoke for all in his cavernous voice.
“You *will* have your powers back, Dark Kat, but only *after* we’re free, not before!”
“But I need them! Five thousand years is far too long to be separated from such power! I want it back!” – he pleaded.
Hades’ eyes glowed and he spoke for the first time, though his voice was the same as Seth’s.
“You already have your youth back! You’re now stronger and faster than the majority of mortals! Don’t ask for more now!”
The red glow on his eyes faded as Hel’s eyes blazed to life.
“We will give you your full powers as soon as we enter this world. Don’t worry! We will help you if you need part of your powers restored in the meantime.”
Then, the chamber fell silent for a few minutes as the hard realization seeped into Dark Kat’s mind.
His masters didn’t trust him!
He realized that so much power could be used to destroy them while they were weak, trying to leave the limbo.
Dark Kat didn’t feel betrayed. On the contrary! He felt flattered! His own masters feared him!
The most powerful creatures in the world feared him!
“There must be a way to get my powers back without their help!” – he thought
“And if I get them back, I can destroy Pluto, Hades, Hel and Seth! And then, NO ONE WILL BE ABLE TO STOP ME!”
“Deploy Mini Tar-pedoes!” – Razor said as he and Katana fired them at the incoming plantimals, covering them with the sticky black substance.
“Is this the best you can do, Viper?” – he shouted to the reptile who had stayed at the entrance of the Dark Pyramid.
“It’sss not over yet, SSSWAT Katsssssssss! Behold my giant killer wassspssss! They will render you dead meat!”
Two giant wasps flew over the SWAT Kats and fired their stings at them.
“Come on, Viper! Can’t you come out with something new?” – Razor teased the green kat.
“If I have had a little more time, you’d be dead now, SSSWAT Kat!” – he thought – “On sssuch short notissse, thisss wasss the bessst I could do!”
Razor and Katana dodged from the stings. Katana aimed her glovatrix and fired two Mini Match-Head Missiles. The missiles found their targets, burning the overgrown mutated bugs.
“Now it’s your turn, snake-puss!”
“Fire Mini Spider Missile” – Razor said as he shot a yellow missile.
From it threads came out that wrapped Viper tightly. He couldn’t help falling to the ground. The good doctor hissed and sibilated in fury but couldn’t do anything to get rid of the grip. The SWAT Kats passed by him and entered the pyramid.
“SSSWAT KAT!” – Viper screamed – “DON’T LEAVE ME LIKE THISSSS! I BEG YOU!”
Razor looked back and hesitated a little.
“Razor, come on! We still gotta deal with Dark Kat!” – Katana said, stopping a few feet ahead of Razor.
“Get going! I’ll meet you in five minutes!” – he said looking back at her.
She acknowledged and went inside.
Razor went to Viper and kneeled beside him. “Okay, you have my attention, Viper. What do you want?”
“Don’t leave me like thisss, SSSWAT Kat! Untie me!” – he begged.
“Yeah, right! So you could kill me! Goodbye, Viper!”
He stood and prepared to leave when Viper’s desperate cry stopped him.
“NO! If you won’t untie me, at leassst kill me! I don’t want Dark Kat to do it. It would be too long and painful!”
Tears slid down Viper’s eyes. Razor was surprised. Viper was so afraid of Dark Kat he was begging the SWAT Kat to kill him. He shook his head.
“Sorry, Viper but you *will* stand trial when all this is over! Besides…” – Razor said, growling and showing Viper his fangs in disgust “…I haven’t forgetten that you turned T-Bone into a mutated frog that time!”
Razor spun in his heels and ran after Katana, leaving a desperate Dr. Viper behind.
“To let me live… isss the worssssst punishment… you could ever give me, SSSSWAT Kat!” – Viper said, in a low tone… “But mark my wordsss, SSSSWAT Kat… My revenge upon you will be terrifying…
If I manage to live…”
“CRUD! The streets are filled with debris!” – T-Bone said as he dodged another chunk of concrete and steel fallen from a nearby skyscraper.
He had been driving that way since he entered Megakat City. Now, the street ahead of him was completely blocked by a big portion of a nearby building.
“Megalaser locked and loaded! FIRE!”
A torrent of laser energy burst out of the laser gun muzzle on the rear of the Thundertruck and hit the giant debris, nearly pulverizing it.
“I just hope I’m not too late! Hang on, you two! I’m coming!”
“It was about time!” – Katana hissed when Razor caught her – “What did he want, anyway?”
“Nothing serious! He just wanted to talk.”
He looked ahead. A stony wall blocked the corridor.
“Hmm! Guess we’ll have to make our own door, huh? An Electronic Detonator should do the trick!”
He stuck it on the wall and began setting the timer.
She didn’t know if she heard it or simply sensed it, but Katana ducked as a lance just hit the wall behind her.
Razor turned his head to look at Katana but only saw her jumping towards him. She pushed him away from the path of another spear. Razor was fully aware now and before another spear was shot he managed to locate the slot on the rock wall and cemented it. Another lance flew past him and he shot some more cement slugs, blocking the other slot in the wall. With the slots sealed, no more spears could be shot.
Razor ran to Katana, who was lying on the ground.
The lance that was meant for him had perforated her body from her back.
The sharp tip of the spear protruded slightly from her chest. Her G-suit’s color was quickly changing from blue to black around the spear.
“Katana! Katana, speak to me!”
Her voice came in gasps of blood and almost inaudible.
“I’m glad… to have… met you… Jake…”
She coughed and blood dripped freely from her snout.
Razor’s eyes welled up and heavy tears rolled off his face. Her lachrymal pits opened up too.
“You think… Chance… would’ve beeen… proud… of me…?”
“Of course, Katanya!” – he said, calling her by her name for the first time. “Of course he would! And I am too! Now save your breath! You need to rest!”
“I’m not… gonna make it…” – she started but Razor interrupted her.
“Don’t say that! I won’t let you die! You’re gonna make it, Katanya!”
She coughed again and more blood dripped from her snout, some of it landing on Razor’s G-suit.
“I know I’m dying…” – she looked into the infinite – “Chance, my love… I’m coming to join you…”
Her eyes unfocused and she closed her eyelids. Her breathing and heartbeat ceased. Her body hung limply on Razor’s paws.
“KATANYA… NOOOOO!” – Razor shouted, his heart pounding with grief.
He leaned over her bloody torso and silently cried for a few seconds.
Then his attention centered on the rock wall. The detonator was still there.
The rage against Dark Kat was again filling his chest.
He wiped away the tears with his sleeve and dragged Katanya a little so she wouldn’t be buried under the rubble when he made the wall explode. The timer was set for five seconds. He activated it and ran toward Katanya. The explosion got him, throwing him to the ground beside her. He got up and rushed into the big antechamber.
It was dark inside. However, he could sense a presence in there.
He wasn’t wrong.
The room illuminated all of a sudden with dozens of torches, blinding him for a few moments. In the middle of the room stood a bulky dark figure. Razor narrowed his eyes when he recognized it.
“Dark Kat!” – he growled.
Dark Kat’s eyes blazed like coals on fire. He greeted Razor in his thundering voice.
“I must say I am impressed, SWAT Kat! I never thought you could pass through my defenses! But, now you must face me!”
“With pleasure!” – Razor snarled and ran to Dark Kat.
The purple kat assumed a fighting stance.
Razor leapt into the air and kicked Dark Kat hard on his face. He barely touched the ground and leapt again, rotating his torso and then his hips in order to deliver another kick at the bulky kat’s back.
Dark Kat flew forward towards the wall with the strength of Razor’s kick, but readily stood on his feet. He sprinted toward Razor.
The slim kat was awaiting him with his left fist laid beside his chest and the right one extended in front of him. When Dark Kat was in reach, he extended his left arm while retracting the right one and concentrated all his strength behind his left fist.
“THIS IS FOR T-BONE!” – he roared. The punch hit Dark Kat right in his abdomen, causing him to bend over himself.
“AND THIS IS FOR KATANA!”
Razor hit him in the back with his right elbow, making Dark Kat crash to the ground.
Dark Kat remained unmoving for a few moments. Razor backed away a little, panting.
To his surprise, Dark Kat stood on all fours and shook his head. Then, slowly, he raised from the ground and wiped the dust from his cloak. He grinned at Razor and laughed.
“Is this the best you can do, SWAT Kat? You amuse me!”
As fast as a lightning bolt, Dark Kat punched Razor in his stomach, making him bend over himself. He then hit Razor’s stomach again with his knee, causing him to jump into the air and then smashed his fists against the slim kat’s back.
Razor crashed on the ground. He tried to raise himself but Dark Kat kicked him on the face, making him roll over to the wall. Razor steadied himself on his legs. He saw Dark Kat running to him, leaping into the air and delivering a flying kick in the face that smashed Razor against the wall.
Razor was surprised.
Dark Kat could fight Kat-rate!
How did he learn it?
A thin thread of blood dripped from Razor’s mouth. This was going to be harder than he expected. Razor threw a punch but Dark Kat grabbed his left fist. He tried again with the right fist but Dark Kat grabbed it too. He tried to release his paws but it was as if a vice was grabbing him.
He took advantage of Dark Kat’s support and raised both legs to kick him hard in the face. Dark Kat stepped backward and released Razor as he landed on his feet and jumped in the air to kick Dark Kat in his chest. The kick was so powerful that Dark Kat was sent backward five meters. The purple kat stood rapidly on his feet, rubbing his chest.
“I think we have played long enough, SWAT Kat!”
He retrieved his cane from somewhere inside his cloak and placed it in his paw like it was a sword. Razor didn’t understand why the purple kat did that.
Dark Kat swooshed his cane across Razor’s chest. The slim kat jumped backward just in time to avert his hit. Dark Kat started chuckling.
“You didn’t even noticed it, SWAT Kat!”
Razor was confused.
Dark Kat slipped two fingers over his cane and a red liquid came down between his thumb and forefinger.
It was blood.
But from whom?
And how could his walking stick have fresh blood on it?
Only then did he notice the twin razors protruding from each side of his walking stick. Realization came down like a bomb! It was Razor’s blood Dark Kat was sweeping off from his cane.
He looked at his chest. His G-suit and shirt were ripped and his chest had a bleeding gash from his lower right chest up until his left shoulder.
Razor was dumbfounded!
He didn’t even see it coming!
“Now, SWAT Kat, you die!”
Dark Kat lunged toward Razor but the slim kat was aware now and averted the slash. He jumped away from his aggressor, rolling on his back and standing on his feet.
“Now you’ll know why they call me Razor, Dark Kat!”
He aimed his glovatrix at the purple kat.
“Deploy Mini Turbo-Blades!”
Two blades were shot at Dark Kat. He didn’t stop to think. With his cane he swept both of the offensive blades. One fell near his left foot.
The other came rushing back to its origin.
Razor was caught off guard. He tried to jump away but the blade dug into the muscle of his right leg, ripping through it, the sinews and a nearby artery as well…
Razor let out a cry of pain as he slumped to the ground, blood gushing from his leg and soaking the floor. With extreme pain he took the Mini Turbo-Blade from his leg. He tried to stand on both legs but to no avail.
He gritted his teeth as he slumped to the ground again.
From behind him, Dark Kat approached slowly as if sure of his victory.
“The supreme irony!” – he chuckled – “A razor shot down by another razor!”
He laughed; a devilish and insane sound reverberating in the walls.
“Pathetic mortal! You really thought you could defeat *me*, Dark Kat, emissary of the Four Hells, prowler of Death?”
He rubbed his cane over Razor’s neck, scratching it and making a thread of blood drip from the cut.
“Foolish mortal! Your death will bring me a great amount of pleasure! Like I had when your partner died!”
“HE’S NOT DEAD! YOU HAVE HIM CAPTIVE!” – Razor shouted.
“You’re insane! Your partner *died* in the crash! I saw it with my own eyes! I saw the body covered in blood in an alley! It made me *so* happy to see that *accursed* SWAT Kat lying in the middle of the garbage, bleeding to *death*!”
Teardrops raced down Razor’s facial fur as Dark Kat just shattered his hopes to see T-Bone alive.
“Just *remembering* that image fills me with joy! But enough of smooth talking! Now, you’ll join your partner in the grave!”
Dark Kat slowly raised his cane over his head.
“I may be down, Dark Kat… BUT I’M NOT OUT!”
Razor jumped with his left leg and extended it, delivering a kick to Dark Kat’s face so powerful that the purple kat flew backward three meters, dropping his cane.
Razor landed on his left leg, the other hanging limply. Dark Kat slowly sat in the ground, grabbing his nose, which was bleeding. Razor’s jaw dropped in shock.
Dark Kat’s blood was black like tar!
The purple kat noticed his surprised look.
“What’s the matter SWAT Kat? Impressed to see the color of my blood or the face of your assassin?”
Dark Kat stood rapidly on his feet. Razor recovered from his astonishment and dove for the cane. He managed to reach it but Dark Kat’s foot stomped it, pinning the cane to the ground. He then kicked Razor on the face.
He lowered to grab his cane and Razor got up and threw himself toward the huge kat. But Dark Kat was ready, this time. He grabbed Razor by his left leg with one paw while he was still on the air and threw him like a doll towards the wall.
Razor crashed against the rock wall and was about to regain his stand when Dark Kat crushed him against the wall with his forearm. He let Razor fall to the ground.
The SWAT Kat coughed and vomited some blood. Dark Kat grabbed him by his neck and tightened the grip on it. Razor grabbed the brawny purple arm with both paws but was able to do nothing. The grip tightened and he began having trouble to breathe.
The lack of air had its consequences. He started to see the corners of his eyes turn black. The grip remained around his neck. He was loosing his senses. He let both arms fall limply by his side.
His whole body hurt and went limp.
When he was about to loose consciousness, Dark Kat let him go.
But it was too late.
Razor welcomed the blessing darkness that invaded his mind.
“You were a worthy opponent, SWAT Kat! I won’t kill you yet. I promised myself I would have a little fun with you first! And I intend to keep my promise!”
He crossed his arms over his chest and pondered, trying to decide what he was going to use for his amusement. He snapped his fingers.
He raised his arms and prayed to his masters.
“Master Pluto! MASTER PLUTO! Bless me with your thunder!”
A roaring lightning of electricity rushed from the top of the room and hit the bulky figure.
“Yes! Thank you, Master Pluto!” – he turned to his creeplings – “Chain the SWAT Kat to the wall, my creeplings. The way you please.”
The little critters dropped on top of the unconscious form of Razor and
started ripping his G-suit and shirt with their claws and teeth while they lifted him and carried him to the wall on the left of the entrance.
“My masters were very obedient this time!” – he thought – “They must be
entering this world any minute now. Seems like I won’t be able to destroy them after all.
At least I shall have my vengeance!”
Lightning rays crackled between Dark Kat’s fists as his eyes blazed.
T-Bone had finally arrived to the obelisks, where a few skeletons remained, guarding the unconscious form of the PastMaster.
The ground was too irregular even for the Thundertruck. He slipped on his jetpack and flew over the battlefield. He could see small fires all around the place where the drones had crashed. Up ahead was the vine wall, now completely in flames. T-Bone engaged the afterburners and flew through the wall of flames.
Noticing he had his G-suit on fire, he stopped, took off the jetpack and rolled on the dirt, putting out the fire. He slipped it on again and ran toward the entrance of the Dark Pyramid.
A few sap slingers attacked him, spitting acid sap. Although he dodged the majority of the shots, he was hit in the right forearm by a spit, causing a nasty acid burn.
He tried to keep his attention on the plantimals. He fired them a Mini Scrambler Missile and ran inside. The plantimals were fried by the half a million megavolts discharge from the missile. Only then did he see Viper.
“SSSWAT KAT! HELP ME!”
T-Bone stopped and headed for the green kat
“Releassse me, pleassse!”
“You gotta be joking, snake-eyes! Give me one good reason to do that!”
He grabbed the reptilian scientist by the collar.
“I have the antidote for Dark Kat’sss neurological ssserum! He intendsss to control every kat in the city with it. If I die, no one will ever have accesssss to it!”
T-Bone shoved the triple barrel of his glovatrix in Viper’s snout.
“Where is it? TALK!” – he snarled.
“Only if you untie me!” – he shot back.
“Let’s make a deal. You tell me where you hid it while I untie you.” – the big tabby proposed. Viper nodded and started talking while T-Bone released him.
“My fungusss hasss it. I can call him and give you the cassse where the
antidote isssssss! It can be inhaled like Dark Kat’sss ssserum.”
The fungus appeared from underneath the ground and headed for Viper, now completely free. He ordered the giant mushroom to give him the wooden case, which the creature did. Viper gave the case to T-Bone.
“It’sss on your pawsss now, SSSWAT Kat. The dessstiny of all katkind isss on your pawsss now!”
Viper turned to leave when T-Bone stopped him.
“Wait! What is this antidote made of?”
“Why do you care? Think you can underssstand the chemissstry behind it?” – Viper chuckled dryly.
“Try me!” – he challenged the reptilian scientist.
Viper’s eyes glowed a bit.
“Very well, SSSWAT Kat. If you want to be humiliated by a sssuperior intellect, sssuit yourssself.”
Viper turned and stared at the big tabby
“Do you know what hematological parameters are?”
“If I’m not mistaken, those include the number of red and white blood cells.”
“Very well! And the number of the hematocrit and the absssorbenssy ssspecter of hemoglobin. I sssuppossse you know what thossse are.”
T-Bone admitted his ignorance respecting those two parameters
“The firssst isss jussst the proportion of red blood cellsss over the total volume and the sssecond showsss the mossst absssorbed light wavelengthsss by the molecule of hemoglobin…”
“Which is the molecule that transports oxygen and carbon dioxide and gives our blood its red color.” – T-Bone completed.
Viper was impressed. He had obviously underestimated the SWAT Kat’s intelligence.
“Now, I ssstudied my blood with ressspect to thossse lassst two parametersss and found out they were the sssame of a normal kat. But I am a mutated kat, with reptilian traitssssss. For sssome reassson, I had exsssssstremely high hemoglobin levelsss for a reptile.
The ssserum wasss ineffective on me and I knew it had sssomething to do with my blood. Did you got it already?” – Viper asked.
T-Bone shook his head no although he suspected the serum had something to do with the hemoglobin. Viper sighed.
“Don’t you ssssssee? It’sss the hemoglobin! The high consssentration of
hemoglobin in my blood kept the ssserum from controlling my mind!
I analysssed the ssstructure of the moleculesss that make up the ssserum. They’re hemoglobin moleculesss, only the sssentral ion isss other than iron. For some reassson, a high consssentration of normal hemoglobin moleculesss causesss a reaction that disssssociates the mutated hemoglobin moleculesss.”
“So you’re telling me that the antidote is concentrated hemoglobin?” – T-Bone asked, looking at the case he was holding in his paws.
“Pressssssssisely! Now, if you exssssscuse me I have to get going. I don’t want Dark Kat to kill me. Ssso long, SSSWAT Kat. Nexssssssst time we sssee each other won’t be for a lesssssson on body physiology!”
T-Bone turned to the black monolith and fired a Mini Baby-Boomer Missile at the pyramid, opening a large crack in the sloping wall. He hid the case in there and rushed inside.
Razor woke up a few seconds after the creeplings had chained him to the wall. He was staring into the ground and was surprised to see the fur in his torso.
The creeplings had completely tore his upper G-suit and shirt apart. His bare torso was leaning against the cold stony dark wall of the pyramid.
Dark Kat turned to face the helpless SWAT Kat.
“Ah, glad to see you woke up already! We can start our diversion now!”
Razor seemed surprised to see a few rays of electricity flickering between Dark Kat’s fists.
“You know, nothing gives me more pleasure than torturing someone! I enjoy hearing my victim’s cries of pain! Let’s get started, shall we? For this session, I’ve chosen electricity! Let’s start with domestic voltage, huh?”
Dark Kat extended his right paw and an electric bolt darted from it, hitting Razor square in his chest.
He closed his eyes as all his muscles contracted painfully but Razor said nothing. Dark Kat seemed impressed.
“Did you know I can release a five million megavolts discharge?” – he asked matter-of-factually.
“Let’s double the parade, shall we?”
He shot another bolt. 440 volts hit Razor. He trembled intensely but still refused to scream.
“What takes to make you cry, SWAT Kat? 1000 volts?”
He shot another bolt and let it hit Razor for five seconds.
Razor closed his eyes, gritted his teeth and squirmed as the electricity contracted each of his muscles painfully. He dropped his head and, between pants, managed to talk to his torturer.
“It takes much more than that to make me scream, Dark Kat! *That* is a pleasure I *won’t* give you!”
“Suit yourself!” – Dark Kat said as he fired another bolt.
This time, 2000 volts hit Razor for ten seconds.
Still, he managed to ignore the excruciating pain. He was sweating and panting like he had ran miles.
It was getting harder and harder to keep his concentration.
“I’m impressed, SWAT Kat. I must admit it! Most kats would be toasted by now. But you still resist! Let’s see for how long!”
Razor was in the brink of his control. He couldn’t take it anymore. His whole body hurt. His breathing was labored. His heart was beating like mad. His blood was being drained from his body via the severed artery in his leg. His torso was soaked in perspiration.
Dark Kat shot another bolt.
Razor couldn’t take it anymore!
He shut his eyes, arched his head up and opened his mouth.
A bloodcurdling cry of pain echoed down the dark rock walls, filling the chamber.
His whole body contorted spasmodically.
The attack seemed to go on forever.
Dark Kat laughed with a sickening pleasure.
Then it ceased.
Razor dropped his head to his chest, panting. Dark Kat grinned. His look was so devilish that even his creeplings hid behind him.
Razor was defeated, ready to accept the price of failure.
The last attack made blood drip from his nose. Tears dropped from his eyes when he remembered his friend.
“I’m sorry, Chance!” – he thought, shutting his eyes and allowing the tears to drop directly to the ground. He gritted his teeth.
“I wasn’t able to avenge you, bro! I’m sorry!
T-Bone ran down the corridor when he found a body lying in the ground a few feet ahead of him. The body was dressed in a blue G-suit and was about his size.
The big tabby ran toward the limp form.
“Please… Please don’t let it be…”
He kneeled beside the body. The shock and the grief were perfectly visible in his face.
“Katanya… No… No…”
He retrieved the spear that trespassed her body and held her close to him. Tears dropped from his eyes. He sank her face in his chest and held her tightly close to him. He retrieved her face from his embrace and gave her a slight kiss in her lips, teardrops merging with the blood on her muzzle.
He settled her back in the ground and cleaned her blood from his face with the back of his gloved paw.
His heart filled with rage and hate for Dark Kat.
Then he heard a scream, so painful and tortured he felt like it was his own. He stood on his feet and headed toward the entrance in the wall.
Dark Kat was aiming his right paw at Razor again.
He was preparing to finish him off.
Suddenly, something exploded under him, sending him to his right, toward the exit door of the antechamber. He landed on his right arm, breaking it. He looked towards the entrance and his jaws went wide open.
The other SWAT Kat was standing there!
How could that be?
He saw his body!
He couldn’t possibly have survived that crash!
“GAME’S OVER, DARK CRUD!” – T-Bone shouted, aiming his glovatrix at the fallen devilish kat.
Razor looked back at the entrance and couldn’t believe in his eyes.
Razor smiled but T-Bone looked shocked when he saw Razor.
“Holy Kats!” – T-Bone said in a whisper, horrified with the macabre scene of Razor hanging in the wall, bleeding to death. He ran to his partner.
“Razor! What did he do to you?”
Shock and concern mirrored all over his voice. He cut the chains with the torch of his glovatrix while Dark Kat furtively escaped to the main chamber.
When Razor was free, he hugged T-Bone with all the strength he still possessed. His voice was veiled with pain and tears slid wildly off his eyes. T-Bone corresponded, embracing his friend too.
“I thought you were dead! I thought I’d never see you again when Dark Kat told me he saw your dead body…”
He tightened his grip around T-Bone as his silent cry became a little bit louder, not wanting to visualize the gruesome scene but seeing it in his mind anyway.
T-Bone was dumbfounded. He never saw Razor drop a single tear before.
In fact, he thought Razor wouldn’t cry for anything in this world.
Obviously, he didn’t know his friend well enough even after all those years of close relationship. His heart filled with pity for him.
“Razor! Razor, I’m here now! Everything’s okay, buddy!”
He moved Razor apart from him a bit and looked in those grief-soaked eyes. It broke his heart to see Razor like that. He seemed like a scared lost kitten that suddenly had found his big brother.
“Don’t cry anymore, Jake!” – he said in a whisper while he drew him back in his arms, close to him.
Tears dropped now from the big tabby’s closed eyes.
“I’m here again and this time nothing will get me apart from you anymore, little brother!” – he said reassuring and soothingly.
They remained that way for a few seconds. Razor regained his serenity and wiped his tears with his forearm and tried to step on his right leg. He slumped to the ground.
“Easy, buddy! Your leg’s hurt. Here. Hold on to me.”
T-Bone offered his right arm. Razor grabbed him right in the spot burnt by acid. T-Bone grimaced and a piece of skin fell under Razor’s paw, leaving a red wound.
“T-Bone, you’re hurt!” – Razor said.
Only then did he notice T-Bone’s shredded G-suit. A black line was spreading in his lower left chest. Razor knew what it was.
T-Bone was bleeding under his G-suit.
“T-Bone, what’s this?”
“Nothing. Just a bit of oil from the Thundertruck.”
“Let me see.” – he knew T-Bone was lying.
“Razor! What are you doing?”
Razor ripped T-Bone’s G-suit and shirt with his claws and tore them open in that place. There was a thick red line in his fur.
“What the… You went to surgery recently!” – he looked to his partner
“Mind explaining me why?”
“If you must know, I was shot.”
Razor’s mouth opened in disbelief.
“Yes. That drone shot me. That’s why I didn’t eject from the Turbokat. I thought I was already dead. The bullet ripped through my left lung, I could feel it. I knew I couldn’t survive. So, if I had to die, at least I would die with the Turbokat.”
“Why didn’t you tell me?” – Razor asked, shaking his head.
“I knew you wouldn’t eject if I said I was hit. We both would die and I
couldn’t allow it. Besides… you’re more needed than I am. I’m just your pilot. You’re the one who really defeat the bad guys.”
Razor couldn’t believe in what he was listening.
T-Bone was having an inferiority complex?
That was a new one!
“And you think I could do it without you? You think I don’t *need* you? You think I don’t *care* about you? CRUD! I almost got myself *killed* just trying to avenge your memory! You saw it!”
Razor sighed and closed his eyes for a moment.
“T-Bone, you’re my best friend! You can’t imagine the hell my life became in the past month. I barely slept at all, having all these nightmares about you *dying* in my arms and there was *nothing* I could do about it!
T-Bone, I’m not in this with you just because you’re my pilot!
You’re my friend!
You’re my *brother*!”
He paused again, then resumed in a softer tone.
“Thanks for saving my tail back there. I really thought my time had come…”
“Hey! What are bros for?” – T-Bone said, giving him his trademark smirk.
“By the way, how did you manage to escape?
The big tabby just shrugged.
“Beats me! All I know is that I was crashing when my seat was ejected! I know I didn’t touch anything! It ejected all by itself! That took me away from the explosion but I still was too close and got most of the blast in the face. Then I only remember waking up a week ago in Feral’s infirmary.”
“Feral? What does he have to do with this?”
“It’s a long story!”
“Okay, you can tell me later. Now just promise me one thing. Promise you’ll tell me when you’re injured from now on.”
T-Bone hesitated a bit and then agreed.
“Okay. But only if you promise you won’t cry anymore when I’m around!”
Suddenly, Razor smacked his left paw in his forehead.
“AW, CRUD! WE FORGOT DARK KAT!”
“Don’t worry! I’ll catch him!”
“What do you mean *you’ll* catch him? I’m goin’ too!”
“You gotta be joking!”
T-Bone pointed to Razor’s leg.
“Forgot you can’t walk, sureshot?”
“Affirmative. But I can fly! Mind if I borrow your jetpack?”
T-Bone smiled. It appeared Razor had a ready answer for everything. He took off his jetpack and helped Razor put it on. Razor activated the jets and both kats went out of the antechamber.
T-Bone activated the Mini Kat Scanner. The triangular screen in his glovatrix showed a blip.
“Kat Scanner’s got him! It must be Dark Kat!” – T-Bone said, running down the faintly illuminated corridor.
Razor was surprised. They didn’t find any more traps.
“There’s something I gotta tell you, T-Bone. Dark Kat… He’s not the same kat anymore!”
“What do you mean?”
“He’s stronger… and faster than before. I hit him a number of times. It was almost as if he didn’t feel my kicks!
T-Bone, the kat is a psycho! He’s a murderer! He was having pleasure torturing me! He was pleased to see your blood-covered body!”
“Let’s see if he likes to see *his* dead body! I promised myself I would kill him with my paws if he hurt you, Razor. And I intend to keep that promise!”
Razor looked at T-Bone. For a second he didn’t recognize his friend.
His eyes were glowing like torches, his fangs seemed overgrown and all his body seemed even more muscular than usual.
He blinked and he saw the face of his old friend come back again. Razor shook his head.
Maybe he had lost more blood than he expected.
Dark Kat was already in the main chamber. His masters had restored his arm. It was as good as new. But he wanted more.
“Masters! What about my powers? I need them to defeat all our enemies once and for… AAARRGGHH!”
Seth shot a red beam from his eyes and sent Dark Kat back ten meters.
“WE SAID YOU’LL HAVE YOUR POWERS WHEN WE ENTER THIS WORLD AND NOT BEFORE! DON’T FORGET WE CREATED YOU AND WE CAN DESTROY YOU AS EASILY! REMEMBER THAT YOU’RE NOTHING MORE THAN A PAWN IN OUR GAME! A PAWN THAT CAN BE EASILY DISCARDED!”
Dark Kat was in shock. His masters never treated him like that. He began questioning if his powers were really as unlimited as he once thought.
“However, we will increase your strength and speed. You can keep the Thunder of Pluto. Prepare to receive the Earthquake of Hades and the Breath of Hel! Step into the Cauldron.”
Dark Kat did as he was ordered.
The statues of Hades and Hel raised their stony right arms and let down a cascade of a green glimmering glow. The purple liquid inside the Cauldron raised and engulfed Dark Kat.
A few minutes later, the liquid settled and both statues withdrew their arms. Dark Kat stepped out of the Cauldron. He was now stronger and faster than any kat in the planet.
“Come to me, SWAT Kats. I’ll reduce you to protoplasmic pulp with my bare paws!”
“Did someone call the SWAT Kats?” – Razor said.
Dark Kat spun and saw both SWAT Kats at the entrance of the main chamber.
“Well, you got us, Dark Crud!” – T-Bone said.
Before any of the SWAT Kats could react, Dark Kat rushed to them and punched them both hard right below their diaphragm, making both kats kneel and gasp for air.
“CRUD!” – T-Bone thought – “How’d he do it? I barely saw him!”
Dark Kat grabbed Razor by his neck and took off his jetpack.
“You escaped me a few minutes ago but I won’t make the same mistake now!”
T-Bone stood on his feet and ran toward the bulky kat.
“LET HIM GO!” – he shouted as he prepared to punch Dark Kat in his ribs.
“Sure, SWAT Kat! CATCH!”
Dark Kat threw Razor against T-Bone. The slim kat knocked the big tabby, sending them both backward several meters.
“Razor. Are you okay?” – T-Bone asked. His partner groaned and shook his head.
“I’m all right!” – he said in a weak voice.
T-Bone knew he had lost too much blood and keeping himself that much active wasn’t helping.
“You stay here!” – he ordered – “Let me handle this! And *no* arguing!”
Razor was suddenly feeling too exhausted too argue. He nodded.
T-Bone stood on his feet.
“It’s just you and me, Dark Crud! We have an old score to settle… since that time you threw me into that pit with stalagmites!”
“You still remember that? Well, I’m ready anytime, SWAT Kat! Come on! Throw your best punch!”
Each kat assumed a fighting stance. Dark Kat sprinted toward T-Bone. He waited. When Dark Kat was at reach, he threw him a punch in his stomach, making the purple kat bend over himself.
“THIS ONE’S FOR RAZOR!!”
In the same swift motion, T-Bone kicked Dark Kat’s face, throwing him back. The bulky kat lost his balance and began falling on his back.
“THIS ONE’S FOR KATANYA!”
While Dark was still in the air, T-Bone smashed both fists against the huge kat’s chest, causing him to hit the ground even harder.
“AND THIS ONE’S FOR ME!”
T-Bone jumped and rolled on his side in the air, extending his right leg. Dark Kat saw the foot rushing to him and rolled on the ground, avoiding it. T-Bone’s foot crashed on the ground with a loud thud. Splinters of rock flew from that place.
Razor was stunned. He never saw T-Bone fighting like that.
T-Bone got to his feet and Dark Kat tackled him by his waist, carrying him toward the wall. The impact was tremendous. T-Bone gasped a bit of blood when his back slammed against the cold rock wall.
Dark Kat stepped back to regain his stand. T-Bone grabbed the opportunity and delivered a powerful fly kick to the purple kat’s chest, causing him to fly back a few meters.
Dark Kat stood rapidly on his feet but T-Bone was already rushing to him. He flipped forward and boosted from the ground toward Dark Kat’s face. The kick was so hard Dark Kat flew back until the rock wall stopped him, slumping to the ground.
“Where did he learn those blows?” – Razor thought, astonished.
His eyes were wide open, as his jaws were.
“He never fought me like that when we practiced back in the dojo! T-Bone *is* one heck of a fighter after all! He was just hiding the game all along!”
Then Razor noticed the black spot in his battered G-suit. It was bigger than before, covering almost his entire left chest. All those moves must have ripped it even more.
But he didn’t seem to care.
His expression only denoted anger and concentration, not pain.
T-Bone jumped on top of Dark Kat’s chest and threw punch after punch on his face.
“You filthy psycho! You think you’d get away with what you did to *Razor*?”
T-Bone growled as he endlessly punched Dark Kat. Then, suddenly, Dark Kat grabbed his right fist, the same with his left one. T-Bone was locked in his iron grip.
“You really think you can kill *me*?”
He bumped his head against T-Bone’s. The thump was so big his helmet flew off his head and T-Bone was sent back to the ground. Dark Kat grabbed T-Bone’s legs and threw him against the opposite wall.
He slammed his back against the wall and gasped some more blood. He tried to steady himself on his feet but his head was swirling from the bump. Dark Kat ran to him, grabbed him by his collar and smashed his huge fist against T-Bone’s stomach with all his strength.
T-Bone opened his eyes wide and vomited a volley of blood. He was suddenly feeling all his body hurt.
Dark Kat threw punch after punch on T-Bone’s gut. The strength of the purple kat was outstanding. T-Bone was rapidly loosing his senses. Dark Kat, on the other paw, was enjoying every punch he threw and every drop of the vital fluid that came from within his opponent was a prize for him.
“NO!” – Razor thought – “He’s gonna kill him!”
With the rest of his strength, Razor dragged himself toward Dark Kat, leaving a red trail behind him.
“What’s the matter, SWAT Kat!” – Dark Kat mocked – “Came here prepared to fight a criminal and, instead, found a *GOD*?”
“I think you’re more like a sicko…” – he retorted.
Dark Kat prepared to slam his fist harder on T-Bone’s stomach when something tugged his cloak.
It was Razor!
“Leave him alone, Dark Kat!” – he said in a weak, painful-filled voice, nearly a whisper, eyes humid.
“Please, leave him alone! Don’t hurt him anymore!”
T-Bone was taken aback with that statement.
Razor swallowed his pride and was humiliating himself to Dark Kat in his behalf!
He had never seen Razor do that! His heart filled with compassion for his partner.
“What is this *vermin* doing attached to my cloak?”
Dark Kat let T-Bone go, who slumped to the ground, and kicked Razor in his stomach with all his might.
Razor was sent rolling on himself to the opposite wall. When he stopped, he coughed and vomited a large quantity of blood. Dark Kat headed for him.
“You will be the first to be sent to Death’s arms!”
T-Bone stood on all fours, grabbing his aching abdomen and spat some red saliva.
Dark Kat’s attitude made his blood boil.
He was furious, transpiring rage through all his pores.
Then, the mystical forces of that place started acting on T-Bone.
The mark on his elbow glowed bright golden. His eyes started to blaze. His fangs grew longer and larger, as did his claws. His snout stretched forward. His muscular mass began to enlarge so much it ripped the rest of his shirt and G-suit.
Dark Kat spun back to see what was happening.
Through clouded eyes, Razor saw his friend slowly beginning to mutate. He tried to find a scientific explanation for what was happening but his eyes closed before he could find one.
T-Bone roared as the transformation completed. He was the same size as Dark Kat now. The brown stripes in his arms and back became clearly visible as the shredded clothes fell off his bare torso.
Then Dark Kat saw the glowing mark and his eyes widened.
“*YOU*! *You* were the one who defeated my masters 5000 years ago! You’re the envoy of Horus!
MASTERS OF THE FOUR HELLS! HEAR ME! RESTORE NOW MY POWERS SO I CAN AVENGE YOUR DEFEAT!”
“GRANTED THEY ARE!” – Seth answered as he hit Dark Kat with a red beam.
An explosion was heard inside the chamber and gale force winds invaded the room. T-Bone covered his face with his arms. Then, as suddenly as it all began, it was over. T-Bone uncovered his face and saw Dark Kat in the middle of the Cauldron, floating in the air above the waters and pulsating with a faint purple glow.
Dark Kat grinned to T-Bone. His eyes glowed bright orange.
He seemed the true image of pure evil.
“This time, envoy of Horus, you *die*!”
“Enforcers, move in!” – Feral roared as he commanded a tank through the burned out mutated vines.
Twenty enforcer tanks followed him. They found no resistance. Feral jumped out of his armored vehicle. It seemed the SWAT Kats had taken care of everything.
As usual, he sadly thought.
He took a look at the fried plantimals, some of which still fumed.
“Sergeant, secure the area. Make sure you apprehend all those psychos.”
He withdrew his communicator from his coat and pressed a button.
“This is Feral! Lieutenant Feral, do you copy?”
“I’m here, Commander. Over.”
“Land your chopper. I need you here. Feral out.”
Felina landed her helicopter near his uncle’s tank and jumped out of it.
“What’s going on, uncle?”
“I’m going inside. I need backup.”
“Let’s do it.”
Both enforcers ran inside the Dark Pyramid. They found the dead body of
Turmoil a short while later. They took off her mask.
“What’s Turmoil doing with that outfit?” – she asked.
Feral shrugged and moved on. She followed him.
“I don’t know and I don’t care either.”
They entered into the antechamber with their blasters ready but the room was deserted.
“Looks like there was a fight in here.” – she noted.
She looked at the pool of Razor’s blood near the wall.
“A pretty nasty one! Wonder whose blood is this…”
“Let’s not be more morbid than we have to, Lieutenant. Come on!” – Feral said.
They both walked into the darkened corridor that connected the antechamber and the main chamber.
T-Bone and Dark Kat tackled each other but T-Bone managed to make Dark Kat loose his balance. He grabbed the purple kat and lifted him above his head, then threw him towards the rock wall, causing a few debris to collapse over Dark Kat’s body.
Dark Kat freed himself from the rubble and flew toward T-Bone, punching him in his face. A thin thread of blood dripped from his nostrils. T-Bone lunged toward Dark Kat but the purple kat kicked him hard in his chest. However, T-Bone didn’t seem to feel it once he pounced toward Dark Kat again.
This time he managed to punch him in his gut. Dark Kat bent over himself and T-Bone did a back flip, kicking Dark Kat in the face. Dark Kat readily stood still on his feet.
Both kats grabbed each other’s fists and started pushing. T-Bone’s muscles tensed to their limit and his pulsating arteries became visible under his fur. He gritted his teeth. His fur was damp with perspiration. Dark Kat grinned at him and pushed harder.
T-Bone’s feet sank a few millimeters into the ground, then a few centimeters.
Dark Kat was winning again.
Sparks flickered off both kats, irradiating from their paws.
T-Bone couldn’t hold much longer this deadly tug-o-war.
“Dark Kat! You’re under arrest!”
Said a familiar grave-toned voice. T-Bone looked behind Dark Kat and saw Felina and Feral at the entrance of the chamber. Felina barely recognized T-Bone.
“T-Bone? Is that you?”
Through clenched teeth, T-Bone managed to talk to her.
“Lieutenant… Take… Razor… outta here… He’s… badly… injured…”
Dark Kat didn’t seem to mind the exchange of words between the two kats. Felina spotted the unconscious form of Razor and put him over her shoulder.
“There’s… a wood case… in a crack… outside… secure it… Now get outta here… *NOW*!”
Dark Kat pushed harder and T-Bone was forced to drop one knee to the ground.
“Nothing can save you now, envoy of Horus! Soon, my masters will enter this puny world and then, all katkind will be made our slave… or exterminated if it refuses!”
T-Bone gasped. He looked behind Dark Kat again and saw Feral. They exchanged looks and Feral’s mark started glowing under his coat. His eyes blazed with a golden glow.
“Uncle, what’s wrong?” – Felina asked.
Feral said nothing. Instead, he took off his coat and rolled his sleeves up, revealing his brawny arms.
“Uncle! We gotta go!”
“You go, Lieutenant! That’s an order! *GO*!” – he roared.
She blinked in surprise and then she carried Razor out of there.
The glow in Feral’s eyes intensified.
He fully unsheathed his claws and they grew larger, as did his fangs and snout. His muscles enlarged, ripping his shirt, much in the same way that happened to T-Bone.
Dark Kat was so sunk in his almost-victory he didn’t notice Feral coming from behind. Feral grabbed Dark Kat and lifted him above his head. He then threw him against the wall, which partially came down on the purple kat.
T-Bone, surprised, accepted Feral’s paw in order to raise himself from the ground.
Dark Kat burst out of the rock debris and looked at both mutated kats for a moment and then started laughing.
“So, the envoy of Amon came to help his son, the envoy of Horus! But Dark Kat, emissary of the Four Hells and prowler of Death will destroy you *both*! How do those goodie two gods, Amon and Horus, dare to interfere with my masters’ plans?”
He then shot a lightning bolt from his paws, hitting both kats and sending them back toward the rock wall. The impact was so great they broke the wall and landed on the corridor.
Both kats shook their heads and headed back to the chamber, only to be shot again by a new bolt. Dark Kat floated above their heads, laughing like a mad kat.
“DO YOU STILL REFUSE TO ACCEPT MY DIVINITY?”
He reached for a control box inside his cloak and waved it in the air.
“You see this? This is my key to total world domination!”
He pressed a button on it.
“What did you do?” – T-Bone asked, getting up. He was shot again by a bolt and slumped to the ground.
“*Stupid beast*! You will only talk when *I* command you to do so! But I will satisfy your curiosity so that you can see the brilliance of my genius! I activated the bomb in my Doomsday Express. In one hour, it will explode and all the kats in Megakat City will be forced to breathe the vapors that will come out!
And when they do, they will become my loyal slaves!
You see, SWAT Kat, in one way or the other *I win*!”
Dark Kat broke out in a devilish laughter.
T-Bone and Feral exchanged glances and nodded.
They jumped to Dark kat and gave him a double punch in the face, causing the purple kat to hit the statue of Hel, breaking it in pieces. Dark Kat screamed as part of his powers were ripped off his body and penetrated in the shattered statue of Hel.
“That’s how we’re gonna beat him!” – T-Bone said. – “Quickly, destroy the remaining statues, Commander!”
Feral ran toward the statue of Pluto picking it in his arms and throwing it to the Cauldron. T-Bone jumped onto the statue of Hades, making it loose its balance and shatter on the ground.
Dark kat’s screams were bloodcurdling. He had already lost the majority of his powers. Only the statue of Seth remained.
They prepared to destroy it but Seth fired a red beam from his eyes that threw both kats back. They coughed and shook their heads. Seth shot them again but they averted it. Red beams kept coming from Seth’s eyes but T-Bone and Feral managed to dodge them all.
“T-Bone, circle it from the right and I’ll do the same from the left. When we get there, we’ll hit it with a double punch!”
Feral ordered. T-Bone acknowledged and started running. Seth tried to stop the incoming kats but they dodged each of his shots. When they reached the base of the statue, they raised their right arms and punched with all their might the dark statue.
The rock figure started cracking and exploded in debris.
That was the final blow on Dark Kat. He fell unconscious to the ground.
T-Bone and Feral were walking toward him when their bodies began shuddering spasmodically. They braced themselves while the energy that Amon and Horus had deposited on them was withdrawn from their bodies. They kneeled and screamed in pain as their bodies shrank and returned to normal. A few seconds later, they stood on their feet again and headed toward each other. T-Bone gave Feral his paw. Feral hesitated.
“Thanks for the help… dad!” – T-Bone said, catching Feral off guard.
When he recovered, he gave T-Bone his paw and both kats shook them.
Father and son embraced finally in a tight hug.
T-Bone finally had a family…
“Mind if I *cut in*?”
Both kats jumped backward when a swooshing blade came between them.
Dark Kat was back! He may had lost his powers but he was as deadly as before.
He began attacking T-Bone. The big tabby averted some slashes but Dark kat’s cane inflicted some painful gashes in his torso.
Feral attacked him from behind but Dark Kat spun and thrust his cane through the side of Feral’s abdomen, barely missing his stomach and pancreas. He retrieved his cane and a gush of blood hit him.
Feral dropped to one knee, grabbing his bleeding abdomen.
T-Bone jumped onto Dark Kat’s back but the purple kat smacked him against the wall, making T-Bone loose his grip and fall off from him. Dark kat spun his cane but T-Bone ducked and it hit the wall, releasing a few sparks.
T-Bone jumped to the corner of the room, near the place where the statue of Hades stood. He desperately looked for something to use as a weapon once his glovatrix was shattered when he mutated. He looked to the ground. In Hades paw was a whip.
T-Bone couldn’t believe in his good luck.
He dived for it just as Dark kat smashed his cane on the wall. He took the whip in his paws and rolled on his back. The whip was a bit oversized but he couldn’t ask for more. He snapped his weapon in the air.
Dark Kat paused for a second, analyzing the situation and then pounced over T-Bone. The big SWAT Kat whipped Dark Kat’s cane out of his paw. Dark Kat let out a scream of pain as the tip of the whip severed his paw.
“Say *good night*, Dark Kat!”
From his left, Feral threw him a punch to his face so hard that the devilish kat readily lost his consciousness.
“Nice punch, Feral!” – T-Bone congratulated.
Feral grimaced and kneeled on the floor, grabbing his abdomen. T-Bone came to him with a worried expression in his face.
“Dad! Are you okay?”
“I’m fine! Let’s get this criminal scum outta here!”
Suddenly, all the pyramid started trembling and chunks of rock were falling from the ceiling.
“This place is coming apart!” – T-Bone said as he took Dark Kat over his shoulder.
Feral helped him and both kats carried Dark Kat out of the main chamber. They tried to run but big dark rocks were tumbling all around them.
“We’re not gonna make it! I hope Felina got Razor to a hospital in time! He desperately needed some blood!” – T-Bone said.
“We’ll have lots of time to know that… if we can get our tails outta here!”
They entered in the antechamber and dodged the falling rocks. They entered the access corridor. T-Bone stopped to look for Turmoil.
“Where’s Katanya?” – he asked. Feral frowned.
“Who?” – He only knew her by the name of Turmoil.
“If she’s not here, maybe Felina took her too along with Clawson!”
T-Bone looked to Feral. Then he thought that if he knew that Chance was
T-Bone, then the mental association of Razor and Jake would be simple.
“Let’s get outta here, son. This whole place is falling apart!”
“There! The entrance!” – T-Bone pointed.
They rushed to it. They were about five meters to reach it when the corridor was blocked by a huge chunk of rock. The corridor behind them also blocked with several rock chunks.
“We’re trapped inside!”
Felina took Razor to the hospital. The doctors that examined him were categorical: Razor needed a blood transfusion immediately.
“What’s his blood type?” – the intern doctor asked Felina.
“I don’t know! Can’t you test it?”
Then she had an idea. She excused herself and ran outside, out of the confusion of the emergencies. She called headquarters.
“I need to get information on Clawson, J. He’s an ex-enforcer. I need to know his blood type.”
In a short while she was presented to the entire medical record of Jake
while he was in the Enforcers. She thanked and rushed inside. Not five minutes had elapsed.
“His blood type is O negative.” – she saw a few faces frown.
“What? What is it?”
“Why couldn’t he be AB?” – one of the doctors asked rhetorically.
“He’s a universal donor but he can only receive blood type O. And his Rhesus factor is negative. This makes his blood type extremely rare. And we don’t have any spare blood! Hell, we don’t even have spare beds anymore thanks to that black monstrosity there!” – he pointed to the Dark Pyramid.
“Thanks to this morning’s earthquake we have our paws full!”
“You mean you can’t save him?” – she asked half stunned.
“I’m saying we have to find a compatible donor! If we don’t, then we may kiss him goodbye!”
Suddenly, they heard a rumbling sound, like thunder. She raced outside.
The doctor came too. They witnessed the fall of the Dark Pyramid.
“Uncle! T-Bone!” – she said in a subdued voice.
She snapped out of her trance and ran toward the helipad.
“Hey! What do you want me to do with the SWAT Kat?” – the doctor shouted.
“Heal him! Find a compatible donor! And don’t you *dare* to take off his mask! If you do, you’re dead meat! And that’s no threat! It’s a promise!” – she shouted back as she stepped aboard her chopper.
She engaged the rotors and flew off to the Dark Pyramid.
“What do you mean you’re not going in?” – Felina asked in disbelief.
Lieutenant-commander Steele looked directly at her and repeated what he
“I’m not going in, Lieutenant! I don’t want to cause another slump! This bunch of rocks is unstable! If we blast it, *then* we’d have signed Commander Feral’s death certificate for sure. We’ll stay put until a new development comes. And that’s an order, Lieutenant! Don’t forget that *I’m* in charge!”
Felina couldn’t believe in what she was listening. That little creep was preventing her from rescuing her uncle! All in power’s behalf! Although his advice was right, heart spoke louder. She spun in her heels and went to her chopper. She retrieved her bazooka and headed for the blocked entrance.
Steele watched her as she carried her weapon and aimed it. He let her fire two mortars at the entrance and then ordered three enforcers to cease her. She fought back but was dominated by the kats. Steele approached her with a smirk of satisfaction in his muzzle.
“You’re going to court martial for this, Lieutenant! You disobeyed direct orders from a superior and…”
“Button it, Steele!” – came a rumbling voice from inside the pyramid.
A brown paw surfaced the rubble. Then a few rocks were dislocated and then the rest of the rubble slumped to the ground. Feral and T-Bone stepped outside and dragged the still unconscious form of Dark Kat.
“UNCLE!” – she tried to get rid of the grip of the enforcers but they held her tightly.
“Release her before I boot you three off the force!” – Feral demanded.
They let her go and she ran to Feral, embracing him. He grimaced in pain.
She looked down and saw the bleeding wound in his left abdomen. Then she looked at T-Bone, who bore some gashes in his chest and abdomen. She helped her uncle while T-Bone carried the huge bulk of Dark Kat to her chopper.
The remaining enforcers cheered loudly their commander and waved their blasters over their heads. Feral straightened up and walked alone to Steele.
“You *really* don’t know what trouble is, Steele… And I’m going to introduce you to some more… in court martial… Death conspiracy against your commander… I want to listen what those graduated kats have to say
He then walked to Felina’s chopper and lift off.
As they did, the rest of the infamous Dark Pyramid tumbled down and mysteriously vanished like it had never existed.
Back in Enforcer Headquarters, Felina slammed Dark Kat in a cell after chaining him. She turned to the guard.
“If he makes a move, blast him!”
She then moved to her uncle’s personal infirmary, where a doctor was observing Feral.
“It’s definitively a nasty injury but you’ll live, Commander. We’ll take care of you right away.”
Feral nodded and leaned back in the bed. T-Bone removed his mask after the doctor left. He grabbed Feral’s shoulder.
“Now you’re there and I’m here!” – Chance said.
Feral gave him one of his rare smiles.
“Thanks again, dad. I’d be dead if you weren’t there.”
“Hey, what are fathers for?” – he said, blinking an eye – “Where’s Clawson?”
Felina smacked a gloved paw in her forehead.
“Razor! I forgot him completely!”
“How is he, Felina?” – Chance asked, concern growing inside his chest.
“He needs blood! Desperately! But he is O negative and thanks to Dark Kat, the hospital’s blood supply is gone!”
“Let’s go! In which hospital is he?” – Chance said as he put on his mask.
“Megakat Memorial Hospital! I left him in the E.R.” – she said as they rushed out of the room. They ran to the tarmac above them.
“You left Razor *alone* in an E.R.?” – T-Bone said, alarmed.
He knew how scary an emergency room could look to someone waking up in there. He woke up several times in the E.R. during his troubled adolescence.
“Crud! I just hope we can make it in time!”
“You know a compatible donor?” – she asked.
He didn’t answer her.
She asked again.
“*I’m* the donor. I’m O negative too!” – she stopped him.
“Are you out of your mind? You think you got a lot of blood left to give?” – she bawled, pointing at his fur streaked in red in his torso.
He looked to her intensely, grabbing her arms so tightly it almost hurt her.
“Razor *needs* me!”
“Are you willing to…” – she started but he interrupted her.
“I would give my *life* to save Razor’s!” – he stated through clenched teeth.
“Now, Felina, are you with me or against me?”
She saw his will was unshakable. She nodded.
“By the way, Felina, did you take Turmoil out?” – he asked, suddenly remembering of her loved one. Felina’s answer made him stop.
“No, I didn’t! I couldn’t find her!”
“What?” – he asked in disbelief and shock – “You mean my bride was still inside that pyramid when it tumbled down?”
She was taken aback with that comment.
“Y-your bride? But I thought you…”
She took the lead. She didn’t want him to see her tears. He loved another she-kat already…
T-Bone ran after her toward the tarmac. He felt sorry for Turmoil but all that mattered now was to save Razor’s life
T-Bone and Felina arrived at the hospital. Razor was in the same stretcher she left him but the doctor remained with him. The doctor manifested his denial in letting T-Bone be the donor as Felina did.
T-Bone grabbed the doctor by his collar and lifted him in the air with apparent ease. The doctor nodded hesitantly and set up the transfusion in a quiet separate room.
“I want you to know that if you die, I’ll say you forced me do this!”
“Fine!” – T-Bone growled in disgust – “I assume entire responsibility for whatever happens to me or to my partner. You’re a witness, Lieutenant. The doctor had nothing to do with this. I forced him to do so.”
“If that’s your will…”
Suddenly, an explosion was heard in the distance.
“*NO*! Dark Kat’s bomb! The vapor will spread all over Megakat City! Felina, grab a gas mask! You can still use the antidote!”
“The antidote? You mean that’s what’s inside that case you told me to secure?”
“That’s right! You have to spray it all around Megakat City! Otherwise, every kat in this city will be one of Dark Kat’s slaves!”
“*Slaves*? Crud!” – she reached for her communicator.
“Sergeant Reeves, this is Lieutenant Feral! Come in, please!”
“This is Reeves. I hear you Felina.”
“Reeves, give everyone in HQ a gas mask. There’s no time to explain why. Go check on Dark Kat and give the guard a gas mask too. Hurry! Felina out!”
She turned the communicator off.
“Crud, I just hope Dark Kat’s still unconscious! Doctor, give T-Bone and Razor an oxygen mask each and get one for you too. Gotta go, guys. My turn to save the city!”
“Good luck, Felina!” – T-Bone said and then muttered to himself – “You’re gonna need it!”
He mentally cursed Dark Kat. Even unconscious he was dangerous.
He also made a silent pray that Viper knew what he was doing.
Felina lift off from the helipad. She didn’t know if the invisible vapor was already affecting the katyzens or not but she couldn’t waste time. She headed upwind, to the west.
She had loaded the flame-thrower tanks of her chopper with the translucent red solution and adjusted the air pressure so that it would come out as a spray and not as a stream.
The clouds dispersed after the destruction of the Dark Pyramid. It was amazing to think that the clock didn’t even sounded the twelve strokes for mid-day! It seemed it had already passed days for her.
The sky was clear now and she could see the smoke column rising from the destroyed Doomsday Express over to the west. Dark Kat knew what he was doing. The prevailing western winds would disperse the neurological serum over the entire city. Luckily, it would work for the antidote as well.
She got to the west edge of Megakat City and began spraying the antidote. It dispersed rapidly over the city causing a faint rainbow to appear. It took her five minutes to spend the entire tank.
She returned to the hospital, which was nearly in the center of the city. She calculated that, by the time she got back, the antidote must have already diffused by there.
She wasn’t wrong. All over the place kats were rising from the ground and shaking their heads. She landed the chopper in the helipad and went inside. The E.R. was silent. Kats were fallen all over the place. She opened wide the front doors and the kats began to wake up.
She went to a nurse and talked with her, her voice muffled by the gas mask. The she-kat seemed okay, as all the other kats.
The antidote had worked.
Megakat City was safe.
She took off the mask and went to the room where the SWAT Kats were.
“Felina!” – T-Bone said, almost seating up in the stretcher. – “Are you okay?”
She blushed a little under her tanned fur.
“I didn’t know you cared about me, T-Bone!”
T-Bone gasped and tried to say something but she interrupted him.
“I’m okay. And so is the city. The antidote worked!”
T-Bone let out a loud sigh of relief.
“Thanks the Holy Kats! Viper was right!”
“Viper? Dr. Viper?”
“Yeah! He developed the antidote.”
She was astonished.
“And you *trusted* him?” – she asked in disbelief.
“The kat was scared to death, Felina! I thought I could trust him… even though he turned me into a mutated frog that time…”
His thoughts were torn away when he heard a familiar voice.
“Hmm… T-Bo… T-Bone…”
Razor was coming back to consciousness. T-Bone was exulting inside his mind.
“I’m here, lil’ bro!” – he said in a smooth tone, almost a purr.
“Is everything over now?” – he asked, his voice a whisper.
T-Bone gave him a paternal smile.
“It’s all over now, lil’ bro!” – he purred reassuringly – “It’s all over now!”
Two weeks later, in the salvage yard, Jake and Chance were dressing for
one of the most important days of their lives.
“C’mon, Chance! We’re gonna be late!”
“I’m comin’!” – Chance got to his friend – “Sure you don’t want any help with that?”
Jake sat in the tow-truck’s passenger seat, closed the door and rested his cane between his legs.
Chance slid up to the driver’s seat, slammed the door and started the engine.
Jake was doing well. His leg was almost completely healed, except for his tendons. The price of victory was a permanent limp in his right leg. Jake wouldn’t admit it but Chance knew his SWAT Kat career was ruined.
Chance was well too. His injuries healed completely and he was in almost perfect physical conditions. Only his left lung was giving him problems. He couldn’t do any heavy handwork. His SWAT Kat days were over as well.
Chance drove them off to the courthouse. Today was a big day. Hard Drive, the PastMaster, the Metallikats and Dark Kat were standing trial. Feral managed to get them places in the first row, as if it was a theatre or something, where they would see justice being done.
The room was beginning to fill up. Feral, now almost completely recovered as well, dicreetly showed them their places. Chance asked him where were Felina and the Deputy Mayor. He said Felina was on assignment and Miss Briggs was surveying the reconstruction of the shattered homes. He went to the big mahogany doors of the courtroom and stood there.
The room was completely full. Many kats appeared there just to see some of the most evil criminals of Megakat City being convicted for their crimes.
The judge arrived and they all stood up.
The accusation list was almost as big as a phone list. Most of the accusations were cast upon Dark Kat, from simple robbery to multiple qualified homicide, from blackmailing to organized terrorism. The jury found all the villains guilty by unanimity. Hard Drive was convicted to five years in prison. The PastMaster and the Metallikats got fifteen years in prison. Dark Kat… Well… Dark Kat got the capital penalty…
“The accused has any final words to say?” – the judge asked Dark Kat.
He closed his eyes and grinned, a devilish, wicked smile. He got up and walked to the bar.
“I’ve said this before…” – he started in his thundering voice – “And I say it again now!”
He reached inside his cloak for a control box with a button and a timer and showed it to the audience.
“If *I* loose, *everyone* looses!”
The scene that followed resembled in all aspects that when he said the same thing and made the abandoned tuna factory on Megakat Island blow up sky high.
Jake said ‘Crud! This whole place is wired to blow!’.
Feral screamed ‘Move!’ and everyone rushed out of the courtroom.
The explosion was enormous, destroying the entire courthouse.
Feral managed to escape with minor injuries but the villains and most kats that were inside the courtroom didn’t have time to escape. A few minutes after the explosion, TV trucks, covering the story, surrounded the perimeter of the ruins.
“This is Ann Gora, Kat’s Eye News, reporting live from the ruins of Megakat City Courthouse, where the infamous villain Dark Kat just managed to make the entire building explode.
The judge, the jury and most of the audience present in the courtroom where Dark kat was standing trial, along with Hard Drive, the PastMaster and the Metallikats, are presumed to be dead, crushed by the debris.”
Johnny, the camera-kat, scanned the ruins with his camera.
Nothing could be seen. The majority of kats were under the rubble.
Callie Briggs was already there too. Something grabbed her attention. She removed a chunk of wall, putting all her strength in that intent. The chunk rolled out and she stared in shock.
Two tom-kats were there.
Their bodies were crushed by the debris and soaked in blood.
One of them was brawny and had golden fur with brown stripes on his arms.
The other was slim and had orange fur and a cane near him.
She checked their pulse.
They were both dead.
She let tears drop from her eyes when the tough reality struck her. She was looking to the dead bodies of her loved one, Jake Clawson, and his best friend, Chance Furlong.
She noted another thing.
They were holding their paws together.
Together in life…
Together in death…
THE… END ?
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