Author’s Note: And a special thanx to Tigerkat, Peri of the Elves, and Cosmic Castaway for kicking my tail into gear!!! Happy reading!
Feral’s sedan sped towards the edge of the city where the night sky glowed a radiant scarlet close to the horizon. Judging from the size and brilliance, Feral could tell that it wasn’t a little fire. He looked over at his niece out of the corner of his eye, only to see her sitting rigid in her seat as she stared at that area of the sky, her rich dark brown eyes glowing like embers. His grip on the steering wheel tightened as his foot pressed further down on the gas pedal, making his car growl as it sped up.
Felina noticed their drastic change in speed and looked over at her uncle questioningly.
Feral felt her curious gaze on him and couldn’t help but smile gently. “One of the perks of being the Commander of the Enforcers.”
Felina smiled despite herself as she returned her gaze towards the salvage yard. “Thank you,” she muttered softly after a few silent minutes passed.
Feral nodded. “You’re welcome.”
Due to their rate of speed, they reached the drive way to the salvage yard quickly. Without even bothering to use his blinker, he swerved into the driveway and sped down the dirt road. Feral had to slam on his breaks after driving only a few yards, and he skidded to a stop alongside an idle ambulance. They stared out of Felina’s side window in shock.
“Oh my God,” she groaned.
It all was a gigantic scorching ball of ravenous scarlet flame, the garage, the house, everything. Like a starving beast it engulfed everything susceptible to its scarring ribbons of brilliant fire that emitted enough heat to make the surrounding atmosphere identical to a warm day in the Sahara desert. Firefighters were forced to stay on the sidelines as massive streams of water cut through the air, only to evaporate as it came in range of the roaring flames.
Felina jumped out of the car and didn’t even bother shutting the door behind her as she stepped out into the dry burning night air.
Feral got out of his car as well and walked over to her. “Felina…” he began as he fought to find the right words. “They’re okay, wherever they are.”
Felina shook her head and started to walk in the direction of the fire chief who was standing besides one of the fire engines.
Feral cursed to himself as he ran to catch up with her, and once he did, he put a hand on her shoulder.
The fire chief looked at Feral as he and Felina approached. “Commander,” he greeted.
“What happened?” Feral asked as his grip on Felina’s shoulder tightened, telling her that he’d ask the questions.
The fire chief shook his head. “Two toms by the name of Burke and Murray called it in. They said they heard some small explosions coming from here and came to investigate.” He paused as he and Feral looked over at the garage for a brief moment. “What they said they saw next, however, doesn’t make any sense to me,” he sighed, making Felina and Feral look at him curiously.
“What did they see?” Feral dared question.
The fire chief shook his head. “They said they saw the Turbokat fly overhead like it just took off from the back of the yard.”
Felina breathed in sharply while Feral scowled. “The Turbokat?” he repeated, trying to fit everything he knew so far together.
The fire chief nodded. “I know. What do you think the Swat Kats were doing all the way out here?”
Feral shook his head, deep in thought. “I don’t know.”
The sound of approaching vehicles made Felina and Feral look behind them.
“Great,” Feral growled, seeing that the Kat’s Eye News Team had caught wind of the fire. Feral turned back to the fire chief sternly. “Don’t breathe a word of this to anybody else. Just give them enough to keep them from getting suspicious.”
“Yes, sir, I understand.”
Feral and Felina turned away and started to walk back to his car.
“I have to call Callie,” Felina whispered urgently to her uncle. “It would be better for her to meet me anywhere but here. If she comes here, Ann will know something’s up.”
Feral dug into his coat pocket and handed her the keys. “Take my car and call me once you’ve met Ms. Briggs. You two are not going anywhere without me.”
Felina set her jaw stubbornly as she took the keys from her uncle’s paw. He walked her up to the driver side of his car and opened the door for her. Before she got in, she looked up at him with sad eyes. “What are you going to do when we find them?” she inquired in a hushed tone.
“I need to know what’s going on, and they’ll fill me in on everything if they don’t want to find themselves in even more trouble than they are already in,” Feral informed her with a firm tone.
“They didn’t do this, Uncle, I know it. Why would they just destroy everything they have? It doesn’t make any sense,” she hissed defensively.
“I’m not going to arrest them, Felina, if they have believable alibis.”
“What will you do if they don’t?” she snapped back.
Feral looked at her sadly. “Then I’ll try to give them the benefit of the doubt until they can come up with one.”
Felina studied her uncle’s face for a brief moment before getting into the car. “I’ll call you as soon as I have Callie.”
Feral nodded and shut the car door for Felina while she pulled out her cell phone and started to dial Callie’s phone number. He saw Ann making her way towards him, armed with her microphone and Johnny. He nodded to Felina and then walked towards Ann, allowing Felina to get out of the salvage yard.
20 minutes later….
Felina drummed her fingers impatiently on the steering wheel of her uncle’s sedan. The parking lot around her was desolate and silent, making the minutes pass by as if they were hours. She looked down at her watch and sighed edgily when seeing the time. “Come on, Callie,” she growled under her breath. Her cell phone rang unexpectedly in her paw, startling her. “Good grief,” she hissed to herself, irritated by her own anxiety. She flipped open her phone and tried to answer in her usual tone. “Yes?”
“Felina, has Miss Briggs met you yet?” her uncle’s voice crackled through.
“No,” she gruffly replied, “she should be here any minu….. oh, here she is. She just pulled up beside me.” Felina’s eyes followed Callie’s glistening emerald green car intently as it pulled up alongside her.
“Alright. Call me back when you contact them,” came his brusque command.
“Yes sir,” she answered briskly before snapping her phone shut. Felina shifted in her seat as the passenger door opened, allowing Callie to get in. “Sorry I’m late. I wanted to get changed out of my dress suit,” she explained breathlessly as she sat to face Felina.
“Don’t worry about it. We just need to get a hold of the boys now.”
Callie’s eyes narrowed suspiciously. “Why, what’s wrong?”
Felina closed her eyes and sighed wearily. “That’s right, you haven’t seen the recent news report have you?”
“No, I haven’t. I left the office as soon as I got your call.”
“Callie, the entire salvage yard is up in flames. It’s really bad.”
“What?” Callie exclaimed as she gripped the back of her seat with her left paw.
Felina shook her head. “I just came from there, and the fire chief said that Burke and Murray reported it when they heard explosions coming from there. When they got there, they saw the Turbokat take off from the back where we know the hangar entrance is. That’s all I know.”
Callie grabbed her purse and rummaged through it before pulling out the communicator. Before she could press the button, Felina grabbed the paw holding the communicator.
“Before you call them, there is something you have to know.”
Callie looked at her friend worriedly. “What is it?”
Felina swallowed, knowing that she wasn’t going to be able to break the news to Callie gently. “My uncle knows who they are, and, when we meet them, my uncle is coming with us.”
Callie’s eyes widened in shock as her mouth opened slightly, but no words came out.
T-Bone breathed in sharply when Razor touched the grappling hook that was embedded in his shoulder.
“Sorry, bud.” Razor grimaced when he saw the pained expression flash across the tabby’s face.
“It’s okay,” T-Bone muttered through clenched teeth.
Razor shook his head as he took a step back from T-Bone. “I’m afraid to take it out. I don’t want to make it any worse than it already is.”
Before T-Bone could reply, the alarm sounded off unexpectedly, startling both of the already jumpy Swat Kats.
“Great,” T-Bone hissed as he held the side of his wounded shoulder with his good paw.
Razor walked up to the Turbokat, jumped up onto the wing and leaned inside the cockpit. “Yes, Callie, what is it?” he answered irritably.
“Where are you?” demanded Callie’s worried tone through the speaker.
“We’re at the hangar,” came his quick reply, not sure yet as to how he would tell Callie what happened.
He heard Callie laugh disbelievingly. “Really?” came the unconvinced reply.
Razor looked back at T-Bone, who just shook his head “Why does it sound like you don’t believe me?” Razor snapped back, despite his best efforts not to let stress and frustration get the best of him.
“Because the salvage yard is currently being consumed by fire, and I seriously doubt you guys would be alive if you were in the hangar,” Felina’s voice answered.
Razor froze in horror. “What?” he stammered dumbly as he looked back at T-Bone, who was just as shocked as he was. Before Felina could reply, he jumped down from the Turbokat and ran up to the flat screen TV they had hanging on the wall. Grabbing the remote, he turned it on to the news, and what the screen showed made the remote slip through Razor’s limp fingers.
A bird’s eye view was being showed of the salvage yard as the news chopper circled it from a short distance. The fierceness of the roaring flames that engulfed the shop danced vividly in Razor’s wide amber eyes, making them glow like scarlet embers as he stared at the screen, incapable of speech.
Even though he heard T-Bone slowly stand up from the crate he was sitting on he didn’t acknowledge it as T-Bone walked up behind him, staring at the TV in disbelief.
The silence that followed made Felina and Callie glance at each other in worry.
“They didn’t know,” Callie whispered
“Then, why were they seen flying away from the salvage yard when it was started?” Felina pressed.
“Razor!” Callie called out, “Razor, answer me!”
“Shush. I hear them talking,” Felina hissed.
They both grew silent as they strained to hear what Razor and T-Bone were talking about.
“They did it,” they heard Razor laugh as the shock started to wear off. “THOSE BASTARDS!” he cursed loudly.
Callie and Felina blinked in shock. They had never heard either Razor or Jake curse before.
“Razor, who are you talking about?” Felina demanded. It grew silent on the other end, making the girls all the more worried. “Razor? T-Bone?” she pressed.
They heard some shuffling on the boys’ end before Razor answered wearily, “Where are you two?”
“In the Central High school parking lot.”
“Does one of you have a cell phone?”
“We both do,” Callie replied as she grabbed her phone out of her purse.
“Alright. Callie, I’m going to send you the coordinates to our secondary hangar. That’s where we are.”
Callie nodded as she flipped open her phone and waited to receive his message.
After a moment of silence, Felina cleared her throat. “Guys, my uncle is demanding to know what’s going on, and he’s bound and determined to come with us.”
Razor paused momentarily in typing out the coordinates on the jet’s computer and closed his eyes after Felina said this. He looked back up and looked over at T-Bone, who just held his face in his good paw. Razor could tell that his friend’s energy was draining fast.
“Alright,” he sighed as he sent the message. “While you’re at it, bring an emergency kit from Enforcer headquarters. T-Bone needs it bad.”
Felina swallowed. “What happened?”
Razor paused for a moment before answering. “I’ll tell you when you three get here.”
Before Callie or Felina could say anything, Razor hung up without a further word said, leaving them in the deafening silence in the squad car.
Several minutes later…
Feral stood leaning against the squad car he had commandeered from one of his other lieutenants, staring blankly at the blazing garage when he felt his cell phone vibrate in his pocket. Glancing around him to make sure no one was too close, he grabbed it out of his coat and answered it. “This is Feral,” he answered gruffly, making it look like he hadn’t been expecting a call.
“We contacted them and got the coordinates to where their second hangar is,” Felina briskly informed him.
“They have a second hangar? Well, how convenient,” he muttered impassively, unknowingly making his niece’s face turn red.
“If your mind is already made up, then I’m not taking you,” came her sharp reply.
Feral breathed in deeply. “Alright, fine. Where do you want me to meet you?”
“At headquarters. I need to pick up some supplies.”
“Supplies?” Feral raised an eyebrow. “What’s going on?”
Felina looked over at Callie, who was leaning her elbow on the door panel of the car just staring out the window before replying. “I’m not entirely sure, but they need our help.”
“I’ll be there in 15 minutes. Get everything you need and then wait for me in my chopper. If anyone is suspicious, just tell them you’re following my orders and, if they have any questions, to call me on my cell.”
“Yes sir. We’ll be waiting for you.”
Feral snapped his phone shut and placed it back into his pocket as he stood up to his full height. “Phillips, something has come up at headquarters. I’m leaving you to oversee everything and, if you have any questions, call me on my cell.”
Lieutenant Phillips saluted as Feral walked passed him. “Yes sir.” He watched as Feral got into the squad car and promptly drove out of the salvage yard, thinking to himself how odd it was that he wasn’t bellowing for them to find the enforcers that ran the salvage yard, Lieutenants Chance Furlong and Jake Clawson.
15 minutes later…
Felina had just effortlessly executed the routine check of the chopper’s operating system when Feral stepped out onto the launch pad. Not a word passed between the three of them as Feral got in and sat in his seat while nodding to Felina to take off.
Callie felt the chopper lift off under her feet as Felina guided the chopper swiftly into the air. Shortly, they were gliding over the tops of the city’s skyscrapers, heading towards the distant, foggy outline of the mountains.
Her impassive, azure eyes followed the Turbokat as it landed on the runway leading into the hidden cave the Pastmaster had found in the desert. As the Turbokat’s engines shut down, the canopy slid back, allowing the dark Razor and T-Bone to jump out.
“How was it, boys?” the dark Callie purred as she crossed her arms over her chest.
“Don’t tell me you haven’t been watching the news.” Razor sighed as he removed his glovatrix from his paw.
Callie rolled her eyes. “Of course I’ve been watching the news. I just want to know what happened in the hangar.”
“They were just two little kittens scared out of their wits.” T-Bone smirked. “They ran and got into their jet like their tails were on fire.”
Callie chuckled at this. “Do you have any idea where they went?”
Razor shrugged carelessly. “That wasn’t a part of the plan. Right after they took off we doused the hangar, house and garage with gasoline.”
“Then, we lit a match,” T-Bone grinned maliciously.
Callie scowled. “Did you guys even think about grabbing some of their weapons first? Or did that escape your tiny little brains?”
Razor’s mouth twisted into a snarl. “Apparently, we should have been more specific. Of course we emptied their arsenal; the Turbokat is packed.”
Callie smirked as she studied the irritated Razor. “Don’t get your tail in a bunch; I was just asking.”
“Where’s gnome face?” T-Bone growled impatiently as he looked around in search of the Pastmaster’s presence.
“He had something to take care of while the city was distracted,” Callie replied stiffly. “So, that gives you plenty of time to unload the jet and put everything away.”
“How fitting,” T-Bone mumbled as he stalked over to the Turbokat with Razor following reluctantly after him.
“Are you sure you have the right coordinates?” Feral asked as he looked over his shoulder at Callie, before looking back at the waterfall before them.
“Yes,” Callie replied huffily. “He wouldn’t have given me false coordinates.”
Felina had the helicopter hovering several feet away from the waterfall. “This is so weird,” Felina muttered as she stared at the waterfall expectantly, waiting for it all to make sense.
“Wait, look! It’s splitting,” Callie shouted over the sound of the chopper’s engine.
Felina guided the chopper further back as the waterfall was split down the middle by two massive steel doors.
Feral arched an eyebrow once the large, lit runway was visible.
“Impressive,” came the impassive remark, making Felina and Callie roll their eyes.
Felina then cautiously guided the chopper into the hidden hangar. Once the chopper was all the way inside, the steel doors slowly slid back into place, allowing the water to fall back like a heavy silk curtain to once again conceal the entry of the hangar. The ragged stone walls were lit with dull orange lights that strangely illuminated the dark cave, and, at the end of the runway, was the brighter light of the hangar.
As the chopper approached into the vast main cavern, the damaged Turbokat came into view as it sat on its pad.
“It’s worse than I thought,” Felina remarked darkly as she studied the jagged tears along the jet’s left side that sliced right into its third engine. She set the chopper down a safe distance from the Turbokat and turned it off.
Callie tore off her buckle, jumped out of the chopper and over to Jake as he approached. Callie threw herself at him, making him stumble back unexpectedly. Callie, after briefly squeezing the life out of him, pulled back and looked at his head wound in horror. “Jake, what happened?” her voice was full of concern as she rested her paw on his cheek.
“It’s nothing. It looks worse than what it really is,” came as his dismissive reply.
Jake, who had earlier taken off his mask and helmet, looked up from Callie as Feral and Felina approached. Feral’s look was that of scarcely contained anger while Felina looked at him questioningly. Her inquisitive look, however, melted from her face as she saw Chance walk up alongside the Turbokat and lean up against it in exhaustion.
Feral’s expression betrayed his shock as he watched Felina run up Chance. “What… how…. why?” he stammered as he glared at Jake, clearly expecting an answer.
“You undoubtedly have a lot of questions, Commander, and I will explain the whole situation to you after Chance is attended to.”
Feral noted the pleading look in Jake’s eyes and simply nodded as he walked up to Chance. He tried not to grimace when he got a good look at Chance’s wound while at the same time noticing that the grappling hook looked familiar.
“Did one of your glove things go off unexpectedly?” he inquired with a dry tone.
“Does it look like I did this to myself?” Chance hissed while giving Feral a poisonous glare.
Feral frowned. “It’s been known to happen,” he shot back.
“To your men maybe,” Chance replied quietly in annoyance.
“No, Commander. None of our glovatrix’s misfired. It was fired from one very similar to ours, however,” Jake informed him, trying to stop his voice from shaking angrily.
“Well, hopefully, you haven’t lost the use of your arm,” Feral stated as he looked over Chance’s shoulder. “The sooner we get that out the better.”
“If he wanted to maim me, he would have easily.” Chance grimaced as Feral touched the tip of the grappling hook that was protruding out of the back of the tabby’s shoulder.
“He?” Felina pressed, raising an eyebrow. “Do you guys have some psycho copy kat stalkers or something?”
“Funny you should say that,” Chance chuckled before hissing in pain. “Hey, hey watch what you’re doing!” He shot a glare at Feral, who was trying to figure out how to remove the grappling hook.
“It’s going to hurt no matter what I do,” Feral snapped. “Let’s sit him down over there. I’m going to need everyone’s help in order to get this out.”
“Great,” Chance mumbled as he let Felina lead him to the seat Feral pointed out. He slowly sat down in the seat and watched Feral look around for something specific.
Felina walked up behind the tense tabby and started to rub the back of his neck to relieve some of the tension.
“Clawson, do you have a large set of cable cutters?” Feral asked once he and Callie set out the emergency kits on a nearby table.
Chance’s eyes grew wide. “Cable cutters?” he moaned.
Jake nodded. “Yeah.”
“Get them,” Feral ordered, ignoring the fact that Chance was getting a little nervous.
“Ahh man, this is going to hurt.” Chance sighed as he closed his eyes.
Jake pulled the cable cutters out of a supply cabinet and carried them over. “Are you sure that these will work?” he asked hesitantly as he glanced down at the sharp metal beak.
“Do you have any other suggestions as to how we’re going to get the hook out without inflicting any further harm?” Feral demanded while giving Jake an inquisitive look.
“No,” Jake grumbled as he handed the cutters over to Feral.
“Go get the anesthetic ready,” Feral instructed Jake as he nodded over at the table where everything was laid out.
Jake filled the needle with the numbing agent while Feral sterilized the cutters.
“Alright, Furlong, in order for us to get that out as quickly as possible, you’re going to need to relax. The anesthetic will help.”
Chance nodded and took a deep breath as Jake inserted the needle into his shoulder and injected the anesthetic.
Sorry guys about the abrupt ending, but I assure you chapter nine is not long in coming. Thanks again for your patience. I hope I haven’t lost your interest. ? Till Chapter 9!
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