1 week later……
5:00 pm Wednesday
Feral rubbed his temples wearily as he stared at the newly submitted missing kats reports.
“A couple of hikers have been reported missing for 3 days,” Felina informed him as she sat down across from her uncle.
Feral reached over and picked up the files and slowly scanned through them. They were high school students…seniors. He shook his head as he put them back on his desk. “Last seen at Hidden Lake huh?” he mused in a drowsy tone as he looked over at his niece under dark bushy eyebrows.
“Yes. At the base campground at the foot of the Katmai’s; one of the parents dropped them off for their annual hiking trip,” Felina informed, leaning back in her chair comfortably.
“Hmm. Don’t tell me, the parents let them go by themselves because they’ve had survival training and all that stuff,” Feral frowned, voicing the all too obvious.
Felina just nodded; there was no need for her to speak.
“And, they didn’t file a missing persons report until they didn’t show up 2 days after their scheduled return?”
Felina nodded again.
Feral sighed. “To think parents would learn from other parent’s mistakes. I want Phillips assigned to be looking for any records of any residents in that area. Tell him to make the calls necessary to do whatever he needs to do. I’ll have a helicopter sweep the area and a small search and rescue team. Hopefully, these kids know better than to start a fire in the middle of the forest during the driest season of the year or we’ll have no trouble finding them.”
Felina smiled as she stood to attention. “Yes, sir.”
7:00 pm that same day…..
“Okay, better yet, how about we ambush him at his house around… let’s say… around 12… when it’s all nice and dark… then we disconnect his phone and lights, shut down all the electricity…. hen we break in, sneak up to his room…. and then we strangle him, pulverize him, put him in a container, burn him to ashes, put kerosene on his ashes and burn his ashes again, or better yet, a couple more times, and then we put his ashes into a decomposing container with rocks in it and throw it into the inlet…… then the fish will eat his ashes and no trace of him will ever be found and it would appear as if his house burned because of a fateful electric fire and it would be the landlord’s fault….. it’s brilliant brilliant brilliant I tell you, genius I say! Muuuaaahhhaaaaahhaaaaa!” Jake rubbed his paws together gleefully as he glowered at the tattered picture of Lieutenant Paul Cummings hanging on the wall, riveted with perfectly aimed darts.
Chance stared at his clearly crazed friend blankly. He slowly opened his mouth “Iiiiieeeeee……ummmmmm.” A moment’s silence passed between the two. Chance sat up in his chair and leaned forward, his elbows resting on his knees. “Jake, wouldn’t that qualify as premeditated murder?”
Jake looked at Chance. “Yeah, so?”
Chance laughed uncomfortably. “Wouldn’t that contradict what we fight for as the Swat Kats?”
Another moment of silence passed. “Hmmmmm, you’re right. To save time and energy, we should just blow up his car when he’s driving down the road and just say that we mistook him for the Metallikats.”
Chance sighed as he let his head fall into his paws. “I give up,” he grumbled.
Jake stood up, grabbed another dart and walked back a ways. “You’re no fun,” he teased as he threw the dart which embedded itself dead center in-between Cumming’s eyes.
Chance looked at Cummings’ barely recognizable head shot and shook his head, smiling. “You’re jealous.”
Jake looked over at Chance sharply, “I am not. No. Not really.”
“Not really?” Chance teased, his emerald eyes twinkling knowingly.
“Hey, I know it appears that I’m being driven by this mad, raw, green, whatever you want to describe it as, jealousy, but I assure you, in the long run I would really be doing her a gigantic favor by wiping his smug, pretty boy face from the face of the earth because he would make her life miserable!”
Jake looked down at the broken dart that lay twisted in his trembling paws. Laughing to himself quietly, he threw the two pieces into the garbage can nearby. “Besides, I don’t trust him.”
Chance walked up beside his friend. “Yeah, you don’t trust him because he isn’t you! Just admit you love her, Jake, and get it over with.”
Jake sighed wearily. “What’s the use? I mean, compare him to me. And, if I told her that I…. well….. you know… it would give our identities away sooner or later.”
Chance patted his friend on the back. “Yeah, but… you never know… she just might come around.”
Jake looked at Chance with a you’ve-got-to-be-kidding-me expression vividly sketched onto his face. “I guess what you’re trying to say is no fire and ashes huh.”
“Yeah,” Chance replied quickly.
“Well, since you’re in such a splendid mood, why don’t we do a little practice run, instead of having Dark Kat and Feral as the target we can put Cummings…WITH Feral up also.”
Jake’s scowl transformed slowly into Razor’s mischievous smirk. Without a word he raced off towards his locker. “Last one to the course smells worse than creepling breathe!”
Meanwhile, at MegaKat Museum of History……
“Wow, this place is really creepy after closing hours,” Callie mused, looking up at the stark, rigid skeletons of a long extinct species poised, frozen in mid-flight.
Abi laughed “Nah. Don’t be such a barbie, Callie.”
Callie folded her arms across her chest, her lips pressed together in a mocking pout. “I am not.”
Abi shook her head as she gathered the rest of her papers from her desk. “To think you practically run our city….. scary.”
Callie smiled, rolling her eyes. “You’re so funny, Ms. Historian.”
Abi tucked her portfolio under her arm, adjusted her bag properly on her shoulder, and raised her chin in a dignified manner. “Thank you.”
Callie followed her friend out of her office, and into the even darker lobby. She couldn’t help but feel a little chill go down her spine as she watched the sinister silhouettes from the ancient and long dead exhibits creep silently across the walls and lurk in the shadowy hallways. “Have you ever gotten a little…. you know…… spooked being in here all by yourself at night?” she asked, her voice almost a whisper as she looked up at the glass domes that permitted the milky rays of the moon to descend upon the museum’s marble floor.
Abi shrugged. “It does get a little eerie sometimes, especially after what happened with the Pastmaster a year or so back, but it helps to remember that there is nothing living in here besides me and the guard.”
Callie nodded as her blue eyes regarded her surroundings curiously. As her gaze fell upon the gilded tombs of Egyptian pharaohs, a somewhat darker shadow with a more sinister presence caught her eye. She stopped; the icy chill of fear seizing her spine as the shadow’s ‘unique’ character came into sight. It was a color seemingly darker than black, a robed figure floating, its weightless inky fabric scarcely skimming the polished marble floor.
“Abi,” Callie breathed urgently, her eyes still transfixed on the ghostly figure.
Abi, sensing that something was wrong, turned back towards Callie questioningly, her eyes instantly falling upon the sinister figure that was now floating slowly out into the pale moonlight. Neither could speak as the figure seemed to drift in the middle of the room where it was cast in the pale moonlight, further enhancing its foreboding presence.
Slowly, it turned its covered head, revealing its ominous red eyes that glowed like fiery hot coals in the black void that served as its face. Callie’s heart pounded in her chest violently as the hooded figure seemed to stare through her, and the whole room seemed to cave in around her at the deafening throb of her blood that rushed through her head.
With her eyes locked with those of the wraithlike intruder, her paw slowly reached into the inside of her purse and gripped her triangle communicator. Before she could push the button, a subtle wind began to swirl around Callie and Abi, carrying upon its invisible body the sharp spice of frankincense and myrrh, along with eerie hymns sung in a language long forgotten. As the breeze rapidly turned into a biting wind, Callie pushed the button in startled nervousness.
Abi’s papers flew from her grasp and flew around her in a frenzied hurricane of white as the intruder, its robes not even disturbed in the howling wind, started to move towards the case holding the museum’s most prized possession, the Kat’s Eye Amulet that sat in its display case near the Egyptian artifacts. Abi watched, horrified, through breaks of white as the cloaked figure placed a ghostly paw against the display’s glass.
“DON’T YOU TOUCH THAT AMULET!” Abi screamed furiously over the wind.
The figure shot its red eyes back towards her in menacing slits. In a sudden shift of the wind, the papers flew at Abi, cutting her on her exposed skin. Abi immediately shielded her face with her paws as she dropped to her knees.
“STOP IT!” Callie screamed, her anger dominating her fear. Without even thinking, she grabbed a priceless vase and pushed her way through the encircling wall of wind that tore her hair from her clip and disheveled her dress suit.
A jagged hole was now on the side of the display case, and before the intruder’s bloodless paw could grab the sparkling amulet, well aimed pottery crashed into the figure’s head. Callie stood a few feet away from the intruder, aghast that the vase didn’t seem to deter it. The colorless paw clasped around the amulet and slowly pulled it out through the melting opening. The figure slowly turned around and faced Callie, its red eyes staring down at the amulet in victory.
But then, those malicious red eyes turned their gaze to Callie, the figure’s heavy breathing wisping the edges of his hood back and forth. The amulet started to hum as an icy blue hue surrounded its cerulean opal, and in a silent burst of light it seemed to combust into a white flame that licked the paw of its holder.
“That’s not good,” Callie groaned to herself as the figure raised the amulet in front of him, aiming its blazing stone directly at her.
Everything seemed to freeze in time as the glass domes ahead shattered into luminous shards of silver as they descended, illuminated by the moonlight, showering down to the stone floor. A sticky blob of cement struck the figure’s paw, sending the amulet skidding across the polished floor, its ethereal power immediately extinguished by the sudden blow.
T-Bone and Razor landed in front of Callie and Abi in a crouch, their glovatrixes aimed at the dark figure that had been sent reeling back from Razor’s shot. The wind died down in the lobby. A thick silence settled in instantly, interrupted only by the curving sheets of paper that descended, twisting and gliding to the floor in a ring of white encircling Abi.
“What’s this, the grim reaper?” T-Bone whispered to Razor, who was regarding their enemy with slitted eyes.
“Whatever it is, it’s not friendly,” Razor growled, his ears laying flat against his helmet as the creature slowly raised its hands towards the ceiling.
“Get the amulet!” Abi hissed urgently, her head gesturing over to the spot where it lay glittering in the faint light.
The strong aroma of incense permeated the air around them as a low steady hum started to vibrate the thick air, making the objects in the room quake and rattle in their set places. The cloaked figure raised its eyes towards the heavens, and a boisterous command in the ancient language echoed piercingly, further intensifying the atmosphere. And then, as if a giant vacuum had been turned off, the room grew quiet and still.
T-Bone looked back at Callie and Abi to see if they were alright, while Razor held the dark intruder’s glare. Razor’s gaze shifted quickly over to the amulet that lay enticingly close, and then he looked up at the old wooden sarcophagus that was laid up against the wall protected by a thin cover of glass. A bitter taste came to his mouth as he watched the lid of the coffin open noiselessly.
“Oh my God,” he heard Callie breath nervously beside him.
Quickly, he looked over at the other sarcophaguses whose lids were also slowly opening. Simultaneously, menacing shrieks erupted from the stark skeletons of the various ancient flying monsters that were hanging from the ceiling. An evil laugh came from the cloaked intruder as the dead became the living. Ropes snapped as the flying creatures struggled against the feeble restraints along with the shattering of glass as mummies smashed out of their displays.
Without a second thought, Razor leaped for the amulet. The hooded figure snarled viciously as it sprang at Razor, its paw also outstretched to grab the amulet. For a brief second, Razor held it in his paws, but a powerful blast of wind sent him flying into a display case of jewelry.
In a swift movement, he raised the amulet towards the struggling winged dinosaurs in a shaking paw. The amulet regained its previous power as soon as the figure’s paw had touched it; it once again burst into white flame, shooting forth from its center a powerful ray of blue froth that swirled over the skeletal bodies. Ignoring his injuries, Razor leaped up from the shattered display case as a resurrected pterodactyl in full body launched itself towards him.
“GET UNDER THE COUNTER!” Razor yelled to the girls as he landed on his back and fired a steel net at the enraged winged creature.
T-Bone shot one in the wing with a mini missile. “Go! I’ll cover you!” He motioned Callie and Abi towards the main counter.
The girls sped towards it, the deafening sound of shattering glass and wood echoing throughout the lobby. Callie, right before she could follow Abi into the main counter, felt talons tear into her suit jacket.
“Not again!” Callie shrieked as she struggled helplessly as a pterodactyl picked her up.
Razor looked up at Callie’s scream and jumped over the fallen wooden hutch that lay in front of him. With pinpoint accuracy, Razor shot the pterodactyl’s wing, making the creature screech in pain as it loosened it grip on Callie.
With a startled yelp, Callie plummeted toward the ground. She closed her eyes, expecting to hit the ground when she felt someone catch her, softening her fall. She opened her eyes, and smiled as she found herself lying directly on top of Razor, her nose touching his.
“Thanks,” she whispered.
Razor suddenly pushed her off him and shot the mummy that had snuck up in front of them into smithereens. (LOL, I’ve wanted to use that word for the longest time.)
“No problem.” He smiled as he helped a bewildered Callie to her feet. He looked over at T-Bone, who was blasting a seeming endless supply of mummies like there was no tomorrow. “Get under there with Dr. Sinian,” he directed sternly as he steered her quickly over to the counter.
Callie, somewhat exasperated, let Razor lead her over to the counter, and then watched as Razor ran over to help T-Bone.
“Where are they all coming from?” T-Bone growled as he sent the head of a mummy smashing into the wall from a forceful punch.
Razor sent another pterodactyl crashing to the ground. “I have no idea,” he grunted as he took aim on an advancing mummy.
Abi and Callie peered over the counter top, watching the Swat Kats fight off the determined foe.
Abi suddenly nudged Callie sharply in the ribs. “If we could get that amulet away from that sorcerer guy, the mummies and pterodactyls will probably stop,” she whispered as she motioned over to where the robed figure stood, watching the Swat Kats fight off his minions.
“Okay,” Callie whispered. “Let’s go now.”
Quietly, they snuck out of the main counter and hid themselves in dark shadows alongside the walls. They snuck up upon the distracted sorcerer, and before Callie could change her mind, she launched herself at the robed figure’s back. She was in fact startled to find that their cloaked enemy was indeed mortal as he struggled to get her off his back.
“Grab it!” Callie shrieked angrily, holding on viciously to the figure’s neck and torso.
Abi snatched it from his rigid paw and ran off, towards Razor and T-Bone.
Infuriated, the figure threw Callie over his head and yelled a command that sent the remaining few pterodactyls after the fleeing historian.
Razor quickly cut the wings off of the flying dinosaurs, allowing Abi to get into in-between the two Swat Kats safely.
“I got it!” she smiled triumphantly, despite the situation they were in.
“YOU FOOLS! YOU REALLY THINK YOU CAN STOP ME?” the sorcerer thundered as he grabbed Callie by the neck and lifted her up off the ground, her feet dangling helplessly.
Callie shot her right paw at his hood before he could react and tore the hood from his face.
The figure screamed in rage as he threw Callie from him, his face a blinding light that made them shield their eyes. A powerful wind sprang up from no where and raged around them, and, as suddenly as it had sprang up, it decreased into a ringing silence….. The black sorcerer was gone.
Slowly, they opened their eyes and looked at the spot where their foe had been seconds before.
“Wow.” T-Bone whistled, looking at the strewn mummies and scattered pterodactyl skeletons that littered the floor.
As papers drifted to the ground, a thunderous crash accompanied the last standing antique hutch as it splintered against the floor.
Abi winced as she took in the damage around her. “Oh my God,” she moaned as the reality of it all sunk in. With the amulet clenched in her paws, she fell to her knees. “Oh my God!” she screamed.
Razor looked over at T-Bone, worried. “Looks like Feral’s here,” he remarked placidly as he saw the flashing lights reflecting in the windows by the main entrance.
With a thunderous bang, the main doors collapsed onto the floor and the enforcers swarmed in, guns raised.
“OHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, those were teak doors from Egypt!” Abi wailed, after a tense moment.
Callie groaned as Feral strode in over the doors, his face expressionless as he looked around at the devastated lobby. He took it all in, every little splintered, shattered piece firmly fixed in his memory. As his eyes rested upon his two arch rivals and they grew dark with rage.
“YOU!” he seethed. “YOU…. YOU…… LOOK AT ALL THIS! THIS IS A DISASTER! IT LOOKS LIKE A HURRICANE HIT HERE!”
T-Bone laughed. “Believe it or not, we have a perfectly good explanation for all of this… but I doubt you want to hear it.”
“Shut up, Swat Kat, I don’t want to hear it!” Feral growled.
T-Bone looked over at Callie. “See? You can’t get anywhere with this guy.”
“They saved our lives, Commander, Dr. Sinian’s and mine. And, they were not the ones who….. destroyed the lobby,” Callie spat back, trying to maintain her dignity despite her disheveled appearance.
Feral folded his thick arms across his chest, a careless smirk etched across his face. “Really, Ms. Briggs? Don’t tell me, they rescued you from the mummies and dinosaur skeletons that were attacking you.” He gestured to the flaky remains and splintered white bones that lay all around them.
T-Bone raised his paw. “As a matter of fact…”
“Shut up, Swat Kat, I wasn’t talking to you!”
“Yes, Feral they were. This sorcerer got in here somehow and was trying to steal the Kat’s Eye Amulet. He brought the mummies and pterodactyls to life using this amulet,” Abi answered for Callie as she stood up and brushed herself off. “I don’t know how I’m going to explain this to the board,” Abi sniffed.
Feral let out a short bark of laughter. “You’re trying to tell me that a sorcerer went through all the trouble to bring back all of these…. things just to steal a necklace?”
“The Kat’s Eye Amulet is an amulet of legend, Commander. It’s spoken with reverence by the Egyptian people just like the book of the dead and the book of the living are. It is said to have powers of the gods,” Abi informed him indignantly, squeezing the amulet tighter in her paws.
Feral shook his head. “I can’t believe you believe in all of that hocus pocus, Dr. Sinian.”
“Well, I do. And, if it wasn’t for the Swat Kats, we’d probably be dead right about now because it takes an act of God himself to get your assistance during, not after, a time of crisis.”
T-Bone stifled a laugh, making Feral shoot an icy glare at him.
“And, you’re the one, Commander, that blasted down my doors when you could of just as easily opened them!” Abi cried, pointing at the doors that lay on the floor, their hinges torn savagely from their sides.
“Pity,” T-Bone remarked.
“Indeed,” Feral shot back.
“We should go now,” Razor interrupted. “We don’t want anymore unpleasant confrontations.”
Callie looked back at Razor, hesitation vivid in her eyes as she looked into Razor’s.
Razor broke eye contact as he looked down briefly. “Dr. Sinian, Feral….. Ms. Briggs.” He nodded respectfully before turning to follow his friend.
Callie looked down, blinking, and then looked back up at Abi as she let out a weary sigh, smiling weakly.
Feral sniffed in disdain as soon as he heard the TurboKat thunder overhead. “I’ll have Felina escort you to your house, Ms. Briggs,” Feral informed her as he motioned for Felina to come forward from where she had been watching.
“Thank you, Commander,” Callie replied half-heartedly. She turned to Abi, “So, what are you going to do with the amulet?”
Abi looked down at it. “Put it in a safer place. We certainly don’t want that sorcerer to get a hold of it.” Abi sighed as she looked around her once again. “Then, I’d better get a cleaning crew in here and get what things I can restored.”
Callie nodded. “I’ll call you later then. Goodnight.” She followed Felina out the door to a patrol car.
Feral walked off, yelling out orders as he went, leaving Abi alone with the amulet. She shivered in the subtle breeze that whispered in through the opening. “I’m starting to wish that I never found this,” she murmured to herself as the amulet sparkled luminously in the moonlight.
Navigate This Author's Stories
Disclaimer: SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Inc. All Rights Reserved. © 1995. All other characters and material within this page are the property of their respective creators.