Author’s Note: Hey Guys! Chap 11 is here! If there are some errors, I apologize. It’s just that I’ve started my job, and I’m working full time, so I wrote this at 12-2 in the wee hours of the morning… Just to get it done for you guys! This fic only has a couple of chaps left.
And, due to the roughness of this chapter, I implore you all to message me if you have any corrections or suggestions of how I can improve this chap. I would like to hear from you. Thank you again for your patience and I hope you enjoy this. Until Chap 12! ;D
Even though his eyes were closed, he could feel the warm sunlight soak into him as he stumbled forward. He slowly opened his eyes and saw a beautiful clearing of lush grass, blooming flowers, and huge moss covered weeping willows that hung over him like a delicate canopy of green and tiny white blossoms. A gentle breeze teased the limp branches, sending a white shower down on him. Yet, its unseen body didn’t carry a sound. This was the first thing that struck him as odd in that little clearing in the middle of the forest; not a sound broke the silence that hung in the air like an invisible curtain that could smother you if you breathed in too deep.
The breeze returned and wisped playfully around his tense body, making the fur on the back of his neck prickle. He stepped back a little ways and, instead of stepping in sand, he splashed into water. He turned around quickly and stopped, his eyes wide in surprise. There in front of him, was a perfect circular pool, its seemingly infinite waters a deep hue similar to that of a flawless sapphire. He could see himself, his body tense and his chest heaving arduously, as clearly as if he was looking in a mirror.
An eerie feeling came over him as he looked past his image into the depths of the pool, and that feeling escalated into a bitter dread until he finally tore his eyes away from its enchanting beauty.
He heard a footstep behind him, and he whirled around into a fighting stance only to see that it was T-Bone, looking at him curiously.
“Woah! It’s just me, buddy.” He held up his hands in alarm, an uneasy smile on his face.
Razor somewhat relaxed and walked up closer to his friend. “Where is everyone?”
As if to answer his question, Feral and Felina walked out from among the trees and were followed closely by Callista.
“Where are we?” he asked, trying to hide the fact that he was a little spooked out.
“We are standing on sacred ground; this whole area should be familiar to all of you,” Callista spoke calmly, as if they were on a stroll in the middle of some peaceful picnic area.
“I’m sorry, but I don’t remember this place,” Felina grumbled as she squeezed herself with her folded arms that were placed firmly across her chest.
Razor looked around him, trying to find something that might bring back some recollection of his supposed previous visit. The ancient weeping willow that shaded the pool caught his eye for some unknown reason, and he stepped past T-Bone towards its moss covered trunk. He studied its aged, wrinkled bark carefully and let his gaze slowly descend upon its gnarled roots that furrowed out of the earth into tangled masses that snaked across the mossy forest floor. He knelt down by the base of the trunk and let his paw run down its rough skin. Underneath the moss he felt what seemed to be the abrupt curves of some kind of handwriting, and with some forceful strokes he rubbed the moss off the trunk. His eyes grew wide as he studied the indecipherable lettering that scarred the willow’s trunk and he leaped up away from the tree’s base.
“What is it?” T-Bone asked, a little worried at Razor’s strange behavior. He watched as his friend walked in a small circle around himself, silently counting to himself the number of weeping willows that encircled the pool area. “This is that ancient graveyard that the cathedral’s going to be built on,” he murmured, looking at Callista in alarm.
Callista nodded approvingly. “Yes, it is. This area will not be cleared for another 400 years.”
“Why did you bring us here?” T-Bone asked, confused.
“I will send you back to your time from here. But first, I am going to tell you about who you are up against.”
“About Pagane?” Felina asked.
Queen Callista nodded. “Yes. Seat yourself upon the grass for it is a long account.”
Razor looked behind him at the base of the willow where some deceased saint lay in eternal slumber.
“We are not disturbing their sleep; we are not of malice and greedy temperament. Only those of hateful spirit will experience the wrath of these holy saints,” Callista consoled, sensing their hesitation for sitting upon the grass.
The four of them slowly sat down and tried to put their minds at ease. Callista gracefully knelt down in front of them and let the fuchsia skirt of her dress lay out on the grass like the petals of a fully blossomed rose.
Clasping her hands and placing them gently in her lap she looked at them intently. “As you all know, Caedmon was the young warrior who approached the gods and helped them bring about the covenant that is held within the stone of this amulet. Caedmon was appointed as the wielder of the amulet, and he became a mighty, yet good, sorcerer who maintained peace throughout the then known world. However, his twin brother, Pagane, grew jealous of Caedmon’s exulted position and power and became skilled in the dark arts.
As Pagane’s heart grew vindictive and his soul blackened by his hate, he was completely consumed by the corrupting powers of the dark arts, and he became the most feared dark magician throughout the land. He eventually attacked his brother’s kingdom with his army that he had called forth from the underworld in attempt to seize the amulet for himself, for he planned to open the gates to the ethereal realm of the sleeping gods to unleash untold destruction and chaos upon katkind. Caedmon, however, knew of his brother’s plans and prepared himself for the sacrifice that had to be made to protect the amulet and to banish his brother into the underworld along with his army. And, Caedmon did just so, giving his life in the process of banishing Pagane for all eternity.”
Callista stopped and looked over at the enchanted pool beside him. “Although banished from the living world, Pagane’s dark presence continued to lurk upon the face of the earth, drawing to him lost souls that became his followers. They soon gained enough powers to enchant mirrors and bodies of water to serve as portals from which Pagane could see and hear into the mortal world.”
Razor glanced over at the pool suspiciously after hearing Callista say this.
“Yes, the pool beside us was such a portal,” Callista read Razor’s thoughts as she saw him look over at the pool. “However, the guardians of the amulet sacrificed themselves and gave their spirits to this spot to prevent Pagane’s gaze from tainting this area with his wicked aura. They are the saints that are buried here in a perfect circle; a symbol that every guardian from every nation of the ancient world rests here in unity to fulfill one dignified purpose. There are areas such as this all over the world, but many of them, such as this one will be in 400 years, are and will be destroyed by the advancements of katkind.”
“So, the reason why Pagane was able to come back is because the spells made by these saints were broken by their burial sites being destroyed throughout the centuries,” Felina stated as she looked around that the enchanted piece of earth they were sitting on.
“Well, partially,” Callista replied, catching the gaze of her four listeners. “These gaps in Caedmon’s banishment spell allowed Pagane to slowly retrieve his previous power and enabled him to manipulate the weak minded to do his bidding. Someone just recently released Pagane from his imprisonment.”
Feral, Felina, T-Bone and Razor all looked at each other knowingly. “The Pastmaster,” they stated in perfect unison.
T-Bone shook his head, “That little troll has no clue whatsoever.” He growled, remembering past experiences where the Pastmaster’s own devious plans had backfired on himself.
“So, Pagane is controlling the Pastmaster?” Feral asked as he looked over at the queen.
The queen sighed. “No. Pagane has made the Pastmaster believe that he is the one in control. Pagane needed the Pastmaster’s ability of time travel, and so he deceived the Pastmaster into thinking that what Pagane suggested was what he needed for his plans to be completed, when, in fact, Pagane is the one controlling him as would a puppet master with his puppet. Pagane, once he is through using the Pastmaster’s abilities, will rid himself of him.”
Callista then slowly stood up, and the four of them quickly followed. Callista walked over to the edge of the pool and slipped her feet in the shallow water of its shore. She then removed the amulet from her neck and held it above the pool.
A distant, yet peaceful chant that had spellbounded Razor in the castle library seemed to vibrate loudly through the still branches of the trees, and the earth seemingly shook underneath their feet as if the saints trembled in their sleep fitfully at the foot of the encircled willows.
They grouped together as the harmonious chant grew louder and seemed to crash down around them. They watched in awe as the amulet’s opal started to glow its icy sapphire hue, and its silver body grew white and as pure as the blinding glory of the sun, yet it did not burn the hand in which it was being held.
The glossy pool surface grew blurry as its seemingly bottomless depths began to churn in unison with the opal’s swirling surface of shimmering frost. And then, as if painted by an invisible hand, an image of the cathedral appeared on the pools surface. Then, as suddenly as it had materialized, the image was pushed and mixed by an unforeseen force, and the clearing where the Turbokat and the helicopters rested by the lake appeared.
“Step forward, for it is time for you to go back to your time and to stop Pagane once and for all,” Callista announced as she slowly lowered her hand that held the amulet.
They all walked up alongside her and looked down at the familiar image the pool revealed.
“Remember, the only thing that can destroy Pagane is the amulet and the only thing that can destroy the amulet is itself. You cannot let the amulet fall into the hands of Pagane or all will be lost. You must not fail.”
Callista’s harsh, urgent words were icy and sharp as they sank into their minds. Callista looked over at Razor and smiled at him gently. She turned to face him and slowly raised her hands over his head and placed the amulet around his neck. Razor looked up at her in shock, and before he could protest she held up her hand in anticipation of it.
“You all must work together; your thoughts and actions must be one, for that is the only chance you have of defeating Pagane. If you stick together, you will not fail. Now hold each other’s hands and step into the pool,” she directed.
They all slowly held each other’s hands and stepped forward until the pool’s water reached their ankles.
“Now, take a deep breath and jump in to the middle of the pool simultaneously. Do not struggle for you will be on the shore of the lake in only a few fleeting moments. I send with you all with my love and faith; just remember what is at stake and all will go well. Farewell and Godspeed, my warriors.”
“Alright, on the count of three…” Felina announced, squeezing both her uncle’s and T-Bone’s hand in hers. “…one …two ….three!”
They all jumped in at the cue and slipped into the pool.
The cold water pushed against them with alarming pressure as they drifted further into the pool’s unfathomable depths. Complete darkness fell upon them like a black blanket as the air seemed to be squeezed painstakingly from their lungs as the pressure grew more intense as the seconds slowly passed. They gripped each other’s hands tightly as their chests grew tight from lack of air as they continued to fall through a complete void of black nothingness, their bodies squeezed and pulled in some unknown direction that seemed to demand their lives…
…and then…the black void that held them in its suffocating cocoon lifted suddenly, leaving them lying on the damp sandy shore of the lake, gasping in the refreshing night air.
“Thank God! We’re back!” Feral gasped as he unsteadily stood up.
Razor squeezed the rough sand in his shaking hand as he slowly got onto his knees, still breathing in deeply.
“Do you think we need to call in backup before we proceed to the cathedral?” Felina inquired rather breathlessly as she tried to stop her body from shaking.
“No, we don’t have time to wait for reinforcements,” Razor spoke firmly, looking up at Felina through tired eyes.
“We can’t stand up to Pagane alone, Swat Kat,” Feral stated incredulously.
T-Bone, sharing the same urgency as his partner, looked at the two enforcers. “Then we’ll go on ahead to the cathedral while you go call your backup.”
“We’re going to pass the helicopters anyway, so we can call for backup on our way,” Felina argued.
“Fine. You guys can go ahead and do that, but we’re not waiting for your men to come and ruin our element of surprise… that is, if he doesn’t know we’re here already,” Razor growled, standing up.
Feral’s eyes narrowed. He knew time was running out. “Fine.”
Razor felt the cold silver body of the amulet through his t-shirt underneath his flightsuit as the four of them stood hidden by the dense forest surrounding the cathedral.
As the four of them lay concealed in the shrubbery, Razor found himself drifting off into thoughts that were not his own. His heart began to beat rapidly as the amulet started to grow warm underneath the cover of his flight suit, as if it were anticipating the touch of the one who, for so long, had longed to have it in his possession. As he lay there, staring at the library window that glowed a golden hue like an eye staring into the night, he slowly began to realize that the fleeting heartbeat that pounded within his head was not the beating of his heart, but of someone else’s. His mouth grew dry as it dawned on him…
A violent, chilly wind suddenly whipped through the trees, making them bend in silent agony as leaves were ripped from their branches savagely. The Swat Kats, Feral and Felina crouched lower to the ground as they watched the doors of the cathedral burst open, slamming against the marble walls of the threshold with a thunderous ‘boom’ that was even louder than the howling wind that gradually began to cease. A hoary mist emerged from within the cathedral and crawled down upon the marble steps and poured out thickly onto the ground as would dark storm clouds rolling out across an angered sky.
“There is no need for you to be hiding, for I sensed your presence on this mountain before either of you could gather your breath from your journey,” a calm, yet sinister voice spoke to them upon the invisible body of the breeze, making chills run down their spines.
“Pagane,” T-Bone growled, his eyes narrowing.
If the wizard had heard the menacing utterance, his voice didn’t betray his awareness of it. “You have something of mine, and I have some things of yours… I do believe a compromise can be reached to satisfy both of our desires… that is, if you are of willing spirit,” the voice continued, its tone sweet and sickeningly sincere.
The amulet grew warm against Razor’s chest as the voice spoke. The blanket of mist that now covered a good portion of the land before the cathedral was starting to snake its way towards the woods, where they lay waiting.
“The terms of our compromise can be discussed further in the comfort of my dwelling. I swear upon my honor that you and your friends will not be harmed.”
Razor’s eyes were slanted in distrust.
“Never would I, in my nine lives, put trust in your honor. If you are so keen as to come to an agreement, then why are you not out here talking to us face to face?” Feral snapped, his eyes scanning the landscape before him in search of Pagane.
A menacing cackle rippled through the bitter air. “So be it. I do not need your cooperation to get what I want, and I do not want to waste any more time on you pathetic mortals. You see, the amulet will be mine, and there is nothing you can do to stop me!”
The fog leaped at them like a living thing and swallowed them within its fleecy, vaporous jaw, temporarily obstructing their sight. They struggled blindly against the fog, waving their hands in front of their faces in an attempt to clear it from their sight. Slowly, the fog gradually began to rise from the ground as if someone was pulling it up from the heavens like a curtain. Soon, T-Bone, Feral and Felina could see each other, and they immediately realized that Razor wasn’t in their midst.
“Razor!” T-Bone yelled, as he looked around him, hoping to see the outline of his friend. They looked towards the cathedral to see its immense front doors slowly starting to close. T-Bone, knowing that Razor was somehow abducted by Pagane, tore off towards them.
“T-Bone, stop!” Felina cried, chasing after him.
“Felina, wait!” Feral yelled, unable to catch up to his niece and T-Bone who were now bounding up the cathedral’s front steps.
T-Bone jumped through the almost closed doors and was followed immediately by Felina, who landed beside him on the lobby floor.
The doors shut with a resounding ‘boom’, abruptly cutting off her uncle’s cry.
“Well, Well. So, you decided to come after all,” they heard the wizard’s voice comment with a lazy air. “Looks like I’ll have to provide some entertainment for you after all.”
T-Bone and Felina jumped to their feet and race towards the library. Its doors lay open, sending a golden streak of warm light into the dark corridor like a beacon leading them to their desired destination.
As they ran towards it, they could see the end of an immense stone table decorated with intricate carvings along its side that depicted the renowned tale of the amulet’s origin. And, lying at the foot of the table, was an unconscious Razor and a restrained Abi, her eyes wide with untold fright.
Just as it seemed that they were going to make it through into the library, something came hurtling from within the library, knocking them both flat on their backs. The library doors slammed shut as soon as they hit the floor as if slammed shut by a giant hand. Pagane’s malicious laugh echoed deafeningly throughout the darkened corridor. Felina and T-Bone struggled onto their feet, pushing off a restrained Pastmaster from their laps.
“Nice try. I must say your persistence is heartwarming, but I have different plans for you two. So I’m sorry to say that you’re going to be too busy to help your friends. But, just to be fair, I’ve allowed a friend of yours to assist you… but whether he’s of help to you without his puny watch has yet to be seen.”
T-Bone growled furiously as he started to fire missile upon missile at the library’s unyielding doors. Felina could do nothing but watch helplessly as Pagane’s taunting laugh grew louder.
“Save your weapons, mortal, you’re going to need them!”
“Just wait till I get my hands on you!” T-Bone screamed at the doors with an intense hatred in his fiery green eyes.
“I won’t hold my breath,” came Pagane’s cold reply.
“Oh my god,” Felina gasped, as she looked back to where they had come.
T-Bone looked back to see the same mystic mist that had abducted Razor completely consume the threshold to the main lobby with its churning hoary mass. Sinister shadows crept along within the silver, vaporous body slyly, and unnerving shrieks of hideous nightmarish creatures shattered the pungent atmosphere of the enchanted cathedral.
Felina and T-Bone took a step back towards the library doors as the fog like substance increased in stature and churned and rumbled like an incensed storm cloud. As the mist started to die away upon a nonexistent breeze, the horrific figures of otherworldly creatures of pure wickedness became unnervingly clear in the dark corridor.
T-Bone glared at the underworld soldiers that responded to Pagane’s summon, and he raised his glovatrix in ready. “We’re trapped,” was all he could say, his voice unnervingly grim.
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