“You know, I really don’t feel comfortable with that bazooka aimed at my head,” T-Bone whispered to Felina, who lay beside him in the bushes.
“What?” she hissed, but she looked back to her bazooka that was strapped to her back and saw that the bazooka was, indeed, aimed at his head. A smile fluttered across her face. “Sorry.” She giggled, adjusting the huge weapon in another direction.
Just then, her uncle crept up behind them and kneeled by his niece and the two Swat Kats. “They’re in there alright. The windows are too high to look into, but the scout saw shadows moving on the wall.”
“Do you want us to move in?” Razor asked, looking back at the Commander.
Feral shook his head as he looked over at the cathedral, its windows glowing, seemingly peering into the night like surprised eyes. “Yes, we will follow you in five minutes.”
“Alright.” Felina looked down to her right and motioned the enforcers in her command to prepare to move out.
Feral slowly stood up and watched Felina, the Swat Kats, and their unit prepare themselves to move in.
“Alright, let’s move out. Stay low,” Felina instructed her enforcers. Looking over at her two friends, she smiled. “Am I going to lead or follow?”
T-Bone huffed in mocking indignation. “Humph, follow!”
Felina rolled her eyes as T-Bone and Razor sneaked off into the clearing, quickly and silently making their way over to the big teak doors of the cathedral. As soon as they had hid themselves in the shadows of the two dominating marble pillars, Felina and her unit followed suit and successfully joined the Swat Kats.
T-Bone’s paws gripped the gothic iron door handle and slowly pulled the right door open. Everyone gritted their teeth as the door groaned in protest at being opened, making T-Bone stop halfway and listen, only to hear the deafening silence.
“I think we can all squeeze through it,” Felina whispered urgently. She carefully took off her bazooka and handed it to Razor and carefully inched through the cracked doorway. She stepped into the immense entryway and took a moment to stare in awe of her surroundings.
The vaulted ceiling with its intricate murals was hidden in a murky shadow that enveloped its sloping beams that groaned with age. Razor passed through the narrow opening and stood beside her, carefully handing her the bazooka. Everyone came in quickly, and stood in a silent group in the middle of the immense room. Razor’s eyes narrowed as he looked down at the ancient scenes that the moon’s beams had painted on the marble floor in vibrant colors.
Felina walked through the rich shades of moon beams into the middle of the room and looked ahead of her at the dark hallway that led the way into the cathedral’s main room. She looked back and saw that her Uncle’s squadron had joined her own and that T-Bone and Razor were behind her looking towards the hallway as well.
With her bazooka swung comfortably across her back, she pulled out her blaster and grasped it in her paws, and the Swat Kats held their glovatrixes ready at their sides. Feral, Abi and a couple of enforcers joined the three, prepared as well to enter the hallway first.
“Let’s go,” T-Bone whispered, his bold green eyes fixed before him in a determined glare.
The group walked across the floor quietly and cautiously entered into the hallway. Feral and Abi stopped at the entrance of the hallway and waited for either Felina’s or one of the Swat Kats’ signal to call the waiting unit in the main corridor.
T-Bone, Razor and Felina walked into an even bigger room, their weapons raised as they scanned the huge room thoroughly. The lights on top of their helmets illuminated the darkness, and stairs of crimson velvet fell before them, leading down into the main room that once served as the sermon area where the gleaming wooden benches by the hundreds were facing the adorned stage still cloaked with elaborate velvet fabric of rich blue, red, purple and golden hues, and at the far left of the auditorium’s stage was a gilded pedestal were a preacher once stood, zealously proclaiming his sermons.
Behind them, the rest of the unit joined them.
“This is incredible,” Abi whispered in awe as she looked around her in appreciation of the elaborate architecture and fine craftsmanship.
“Where is the stairway leading to the storage room above the library, Dr. Sinian?” Feral inquired, looking over at the awestruck historian.
Abi aimed her flashlight towards another darkened hallway. “It should be through there and in the nook of the left corner of that room,” she replied quietly.
Feral stepped in front of the group with his niece and the Swat Kats, placing Dr. Sinian in the very middle of the group. “Everyone keep your eyes peeled,” he growled softly, his flashlight’s beam aimed directly into the thick blackness of the hall.
Slowly, the group advanced into the hallway and entered into the other room. Everyone scanned the room’s perimeter, weapons raised to see that the room was once again empty.
“I don’t like this….” Razor gritted his teeth in suspicion, his glowing eyes darting back and forth, “…it’s too quiet in here.”
“You got that right,” Felina growled, her flashlight falling upon the iron wrought stairway that curved up into the blackened ceiling from the far left corner of the room, just as Abi had said. “I have a bad feeling about this,” Felina added, looking over at her uncle.
Feral looked back at the young enforcer who had been the scout that had found the room that the Pastmaster was occupying. “Are you sure it was the library?” Feral questioned him again.
“Yes sir, even doctor Sinian confirmed that it was the library from the blueprints she has,” the young enforcer replied, nodding over at the messenger bag Abi was carrying.
Feral frowned as he looked at the staircase distrustfully.
T-Bone stepped towards the staircase and placed a foot paw on the bottom stair. “I’ll check it out.”
Several minutes later…..
“There should be an eyehole in the floor, so be watchful where you step,” Abi cautioned quietly to the group that was waiting by the top of the staircase.
“We should all go one at a time to prevent the wood from creaking,” Felina suggested in a hushed voice.
“I really don’t trust this wood; the staircase was one thing but this… is completely different,” T-Bone murmured to Razor, who just shook his head.
“We don’t have a choice, buddy. This is the only way to see into the library without being seen.”
“I think if you’re really careful and go really slow, you’ll be fine. It appears as if the Pastmaster has pretty much restored everything,” Abi observed.
T-Bone shook his head. “Whatever you say, Dr. Sinian.”
“I’ll go first,” Razor offered as he stepped ahead of everyone else.
“Be careful,” T-Bone cautioned, trying to mask his unease.
Razor gently placed another foot paw in front of him and let his weight distribute evenly on the wooden floor that had not yet given away his presence. He continued to tiptoe until he spotted an eyehole on the floor by his front foot paw. He looked back at his awaiting comrades and motioned for them to wait as he slowly kneeled down by the hole and peered into it.
His eyes turned into malevolent slits as he looked down upon a chained, beat up Callie who was leaning back against a wall. He fought to control the searing anger and hate that swelled up in his chest as he located the Pastmaster and the cloaked figure that stood by a huge mirror, undoubtedly planning something. He looked over at T-Bone and the others and motioned for them to start coming over.
Everyone made it over to Razor successfully. Now, after Feral, Felina, T-Bone and Abi had seen through the eyehole as well, they were anxious to get her out as soon as possible.
“We just can’t burst in to the library through its doors,” Feral argued, “We would have a better chance catching them off guard.”
“And how do you propose we do that?” T-Bone growled.
Razor just shook his head and leaned his head against his paw. Usually, he was the one who came up with the rescue or escape plan, but now he couldn’t come up with anything.
“Maybe half of the unit should go back down to the library’s main doors and burst in the same time we go down through the trap door,” Felina suggested.
“How do we know that they still don’t know we’re still here… W hat if they’re just acting like they don’t know that we’re here?” Razor whispered, his tone dead serious.
Everyone looked over at him worriedly.
“I wouldn’t be surprised,” T-Bone growled bitterly, catching a glimpse of the Pastmaster’s shimmering cloak through the eyehole.
“Commander Feral!” an enforcer hissed urgently from Feral’s far right. Everyone looked over at the enforcer who was sitting up on his knees. “Sir! The tip of Bryan’s boot is stuck in a soft spot in the floor.”
Feral cursed silently to himself as he crawled over towards the enforcer who had spoken.
“I’m going to go over to help,” T-Bone whispered to Razor and Felina as he started to crawl over to the stuck enforcer.
“Alright.” Razor nodded.
Felina watched with him as Feral surveyed the soft spot where the enforcer’s boot tip was.
“This isn’t good,” Feral growled. He looked up at one of his lieutenants. “Grab the other side of his ankle and help me get it out quietly,” he ordered.
As Feral and the lieutenant were pulling out the enforcer’s boot, T-Bone’s eyes grew wide. “Crud! Feral, stop!” he hissed.
Feral stopped immediately. “What is it?” he snapped.
“His boot is actually all the way through the floor, if you keep moving it, there is a good chance they might see it,” T-Bone growled.
Feral looked down at the enforcer’s wedged foot, once again cursing quietly to himself
“Uncle, he’s right!” Felina informed him in an urgent undertone. “Because Callie is looking up towards us.”
Suddenly, the whole attic floor shuddered and groaned unexpectedly. Razor looked down in the eyehole quickly, to see that Callie’s eyes had grown bigger. He looked down where the Pastmaster and the cloaked figure were standing and saw that the Pastmaster had his watch aimed towards the ceiling, directly at the spot where the tip of the enforcer’s boot was showing through. His eyes grew wide in alarm as he looked up over at T-Bone and the other enforcers.
It happened in only a matter of a few seconds. They floor grew warm under them and gave out underneath them. They all heard Callie scream over the deafening cracking sound of the attic flooring, as they all plummeted towards the ground with shattered pieces of flooring before they even had time to react. Razor closed his eyes, expecting to hit the marble floor at full speed, but instead, felt his body hit something soft and bouncy. He opened his eyes immediately as a sharp pain jabbed into his side, to see that Felina had landed on top of him, her elbow digging into him.
Everyone had, unbelievably, landed in an uncomfortable heap on some furniture that was pushed together in the far corner of the library. T-Bone, buried under several dazed bodies, opened his eyes and saw that he was looking directly into the wide, startled eyes of a starved teenager that lay gagged and bound next to the side of the couch.
“So much for our element of surprise,” Felina growled as she struggled to get to her feet.
“Well, well, looked who dropped in to pay us a little visit,” the Pastmaster gloated in a mocking tone.
Feral managed to maintain his dignity as he stood up to his full height. “Pastmaster, you are under arrest.”
The little sorcerer and his accomplice cackled in delight.
“You fool! You think your pathetic little band can stop me now?” the Pastmaster boomed, his watch raised towards them.
“Look out!” Razor yelled as he pushed Felina to the ground.
T-Bone threw several enforcers in front of him to the ground as well as a heated beam screamed inches from his back.
“You are no match for me or my powers, you pathetic mortals!” the Pastmaster thundered triumphantly.
Razor and T-Bone jumped to their feet as if in defiant response.
“Try me!” T-Bone spat as he and Razor fired spider missiles towards the unprepared sorcerer.
The little kat grunted in dismay as the two missiles hit their mark and embedded themselves into the wall with the struggling sorcerer trapped in their steel talons. “Get rid of them, Pagane!” he screamed as he threw his watch towards the outstretched hand of his accomplice.
Pagane caught it skillfully and in a booming voice, he threw the watch’s blinding beam towards them.
Like silent lightning, the watch’s powerful rays enveloped the surprised group. Razor and T-Bone, in the forefront of the blinding beams, shielded their eyes with their paws, as did the enforcers. The blinding light transformed into a blinding white light that made Callie close her eyes and move her head to the side, her face touching the cold stone wall.
As the blinding light dimmed out, she dared to slowly turn her head back towards the spot where her attempting rescuers stood, and saw that they were gone without a trace.
Her chest grew tight, and she could no longer breathe as she felt her eyes brimming with tears. “NNNNOOOOOOO!” she screamed at the top of her lungs. As her body shook in pain, the reply to her hoarse scream was the malevolent cackling of her wicked captors.
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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.