Author’s Note: HEY GUYS!
Well, here is chap 2! I just wrote this today, so, if it has some mechanical errors, I apologize. Chap 3 is in the pre-write stage, so that won’t be long in coming. Until chap 3… Enjoy!
Chap 2 occurs on the same day/night that chap 1 begins with. There are some time lapses…:)
That same night….
The street was black and glistening from the raindrops that were falling heavily upon the city. The bright neon lights made the rain cast radiant slivers of rainbow as the raindrops shattered against the pavement. The streets of downtown MegaKat city were bustling with the lively night life, from the poorest and lowest of kats up to the die-hard gamblers that swarmed from one casino to another. With the commotion of laughter, music, and the cheerful ringing of kats getting jackpots from the numerous slot machines, no one noticed the dark shadow that zipped past the crowded streets and wove between cars and passed them without even a whisper.
Shadow’s liquid black body glistened with violet hues as the rain caressed its sleek metal body. Like an invisible hand, the bike’s swift momentum pushed thin veils of water back into the air as wispy multihued ribbons in its sharp, slender wake. Razor’s heart raced as his newest creation cut through the wet air with effortless ease.
Caught within that moment of exhilaration, he commanded Shadow to go faster with a sharp twist of his gloved paw, making the metal beast underneath him leap forward with a powerful burst of speed. Quick and sleek, kat and machine zipped past the bright neon lights and cars as if they were standing still. He sped past them all, not caring or willing to stop to admire the beauty that surrounded him. Instead, his bright amber eyes focused straight ahead, his destination the vertex of the vibrant tunnel of swirling color and indistinguishable sounds.
Steadily gaining speed, he rushed past it all, trying to leave behind his churning emotions in the night’s chaos. It all seemed to blend together perfectly as the lights dimmed and the number of cars began to decrease as he neared the sleeping part of the city. To feel nothing at all would be a blessing in itself, but the haunting memory of Callie’s kiss wasn’t that merciful.
Felina Feral drove down the lonely highway 180, a road rarely traveled due to the new freeway just a couple of miles east. Sure it was rough and covered with sporadic black lines of tar, but its desolate emptiness appealed to her, especially on dark rainy nights like this one. Her car’s yellow headlights sliced through the damp darkness as it moved along the old cement with a low growl of its old engine, leaving a wake of sweet exhaust in silver clouds pierced with the falling rain. The darkness once again enveloped the highway with its dark cloak, like a sleek predator lurking up behind its prey in silent malice.
She drove on as her thoughts wandered through the landscape of her consciousness, muscle memory taking over the wheel as her car traveled over the well-worn road. She thought about the surprising events of the day that had passed…. such as the transfer of David Steele to a ‘more fitting’ headquarters somewhere in the West in a little town called Pigeon Creek. The worst of these ‘unfortunate incidents’ that were of Steele’s doing was the one that involved a blazing fire and her uncle’s beloved car. As she relived the hilarious moment of Feral dragging Steele out the door by his feet, her car started to lug and lurch sluggishly. Alarmed, she snapped back to reality and looked down at her lit console, which showed every gauge needle trembling in the red zone, all except her gas gauge.
‘Ohhhh noooonooonononnnonononoono! Don’t do this to me!” she growled as she pulled her sputtering car over to the side of road where it abruptly shuddered and died with a resounding ‘thump’ before she could even put it in park and turn off the ignition.
After a few seconds of sitting there, her head slowly came to rest upon the steering wheel while her paws slid from it and dangled lifelessly by her legs. And then, with a violent pull of the hood release, she threw open her door and stalked over to the front of her car in the pouring rain. Grumbling incoherent yet profane threats, she pulled her gloves on and pushed the hood open, releasing a thick, putrid cloud of gray smoke that leaked profusely from her blackened engine. Coughing violently, she stumbled back, waving her arms in front of her face.
Fuming, she stomped back to the open driver door and slammed her foot into it, making the poor gray Saab jolt with the metal crunching impact. Breathing heavily, she glared at the perfect imprint of her boot that now graced the side of her car. Slowly, she trudged over and leaned her back against it and closed her eyes. Her head gradually rolled onto the top of her hood, allowing the rain to wash her face with its pure, cold drops. She opened her eyes only to see the angry storm clouds churning in charcoal gray masses.
“IS THIS PUNISHMENT FOR REVOKING THAT OLD LADY’S LICENSE AND IMPOUNDING HER CAR BECAUSE SHE COULDN’T AFFORD INSURANCE!” she screamed at the rumbling sky. “JUST STRIKE ME WITH LIGHTNING AND GET IT OVER WITH!”
She continued to look at the sky after her outburst as if expecting the clouds to part and reveal the starry heavens in some glorious sign, but the only sign she got was an angry roll of thunder. Sighing in defeat, her drenched head fell to her chest, her dark wet hair clinging to her face. She reached into her pocket and pulled out her cell phone and dialed a number she had long ago memorized but never dialed. Putting it to her ear, she waited nervously, hoping he would answer, but then again wishing he wouldn’t.
At that exact moment….
Chance’s paw slowly passed over the sleek curves of the jet with a wide spray of glistening black paint for the last time. Sighing, he put the paint gun down on the tool bench and took off his face mask. Just as he was sitting on the bench, his face twisted up in annoyance and then he let out a loud sneeze that echoed throughout the hanger.
“Owww…,” he moaned as he pulled his tissue from his pocket and blew his nose.
He tossed the wadded up Kleenex into a nearby garbage bin and then held his throbbing head in his paws. After a few seconds, he looked over at the clock that hung on the wall. It was 12:30. Chance closed his eyes as he collapsed against the back of the bench. Jake still wasn’t home…… and he was getting worried. And then, the phone rang, making Chance jump in alarm. His watery green eyes slitted as he glared at the blaring phone sitting on Jake’s work table. After four rings, he slowly got up and stalked over to the phone.
Grabbing it with a clenched paw, he stabbed the ‘On’ button. “Megakat Towing & Salvage, Chance speaking,” he answered dryly as he sat down on the table top. Nothing but silence answered him. He sighed wearily as he waited a few seconds. “Hello? Anybody there?” he called faintly. He then heard someone clear their throat nervously.
“Uh, hi Furlong, this is Lieutenant Feral.” Felina heard a muffled ‘thud’ accompanied with a faint “Crap!” on the other line.
“Is everything okay?” she asked, now feeling really awkward.
“No, no everything’s fine…. how can I help you?” Chance smiled through gritted teeth as he tenderly picked himself off the concrete floor.
He heard her laugh shortly, as if she couldn’t believe she was actually talking to him. “Ummm, I’m kind of in a situation that calls for…….. well, a tow truck.”
“A tow truck?” Chance repeated. “Did your car break down?”
Once again, he heard her clear her throat. “Yes.” She sighed.
“Do you know what’s wrong with it?”
“I’m not really a mechanic, but, if it means anything, there’s a lot of smoke coming from underneath the hood.”
Chance sighed. Another junker on their ‘to fix’ list. Grabbing a pad of paper and pencil, he asked, “Where are you?”
“I’m right after the mile 80 marker, about 3 miles from Beach Side cutoff.”
“Okay, I’ll be there in a few minutes.’
“Thanks, Furlong, I appreciate it.”
He hung up the phone, grabbed the pad of paper and climbed up the ladder back into the house.
After grabbing the truck keys and his coat, he left a note for Jake on the kitchen table, locked up the house and garage and got into his truck. The truck roared to life seconds later and pulled out of the junk yard onto the highway, only 15 minutes away from where Felina stood in the rain.
Many miles from Megakat City stood the ancient St. Michael’s Cathedral, a mere worn and tainted shell of a time long forgotten. Its wretched gothic pillars shrouded in ivy sheltered the rotting teak doors from the menacing weather. The crumbling steps and its dark interior were littered with pieces of shattered stained glass. The arched windows that once depicted holy scenes of legend were now nothing more but leaden skeletons that crudely outlined weather worn saints and knights of the crusades.
The vast vaulted ceilings depicted fading scenes of angels and saints flying in mid heaven, forever imprisoning in their darkened crevices the ghostly hymns of the long deceased choir. The peeling mural of fallen grace was golden in the soft candlelight that burned upon bullion candlesticks set upon the covered furnishings. The room was spicy with the aroma of incense and in the middle of the vast choir room a large cast iron pot sat upon white hot coals that scorched the marble floor black.
The boiling contents were of liquid silver, and standing over the pot on a tall pedestal, stood the remains of a short kat. His coarse orange fur clung tightly to his bones, giving him the appearance of a living skeleton with sunken black eyes. His royal purple cloak fell in cascades over the podium steps as he muttered ancient and dark hymns, making the hoary liquid to churn violently. His voice grew louder in velocity as he chanted words long forgotten and, as if spurned by the powerful hymns, a funnel of the silvery liquid erupted from the pot and shot into the air with a fiery explosion in its wake.
The tiny sorcerer cackled as the funnel reached the painted ceiling and engulfed it as it met its flaking surface. In a matter of seconds, the liquid had engulfed the every inch of the ceiling and was slowly flowing down the walls and onto the cracked marble floor. The whole cathedral from the inside lay enclosed by the shimmery liquid like substance within seconds.
Mad laughter echoed throughout the desolate cathedral as a piercing light erupted, sending the shards of glass back into their original windows, pieced together immediately by an invisible force and restored back to their original glory. The eruption of light illuminated the surrounding forest with rich color and dazzling white and then, just as suddenly as it had erupted, with a thunderous ‘whoosh’, the silver liquid rushed back to its pot and grew silent and still as its bright wake slowly dimmed.
The room glistened in polished mahogany and teak decorated in priceless gems and ornaments of gold and silver. The sorcerer looked around him, his beady black eyes glistening imperiously at his wondrous accomplishment.
As he was stepping down from his podium, the massive teak doors swung up, admitting a figure fully clothed in flowing garments of black. The figure seemed to float upon a thin layer of air as it stealthily approached the smaller kat, who wasn’t alarmed at all by this dark figure’s sudden presence.
The cloaked figure, his face hidden by the draping hood that caused shadows to cover his face, kneeled submissively before the skeletal kat, his head bowed. “Pastmaster, everything you have requested of me has been accomplished.”
The Pastmaster’s skeletal grin stretched over his gaunt face. “Very good, young Pagane, it won’t be long until I shall send thee to retrieve the queen.”
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