The smell of green vegetation was thick in the steamy air. T-Bone’s eyes fluttered open, and it took him a minute to realize that he was no longer in the cathedral’s library. Was he in the woods?…Nooooo….since when did the Katmai forest have palm trees? He shot up onto his knees and looked around him in shock. Around him lay his knocked out comrades who were starting to show some sign of life. Slowly, he stood up as an idea of where they were came to him.
He walked over to Razor, leaned down, grabbed his shoulders, and started to shake him. “Razor, Raaaaaazzzzzoooorrrrr wwwaaakkkkeeee uuuuhhhhpppp…..WAKE UP!”
Razor’s eyes shot open in alarm as soon as T-Bone yelled. “Geez T-Bone! Did you have to yell in my ear?” he groaned as he slowly got up to his feet.
“Does any of THIS look familiar to you?” T-Bone demanded, motioning to the tropical forest around him.
“What the?” Razor looked around him in surprise as the reality of it all slowly set in.
“Uggghhh, where are we?” Abi groaned as her head emerged from the dense ferns that carpeted the forest floor around them.
Razor started to chuckle to himself in disbelief as he walked around, “I can’t believe that this is happening to us,” he growled as he kicked the soft earth angrily.
Feral stood up and started to brush himself off while he waited for his head to clear. “Where are we?” he demanded, looking up at a clearly agitated T-Bone.
“I swear I’m going to impale that little troll and that crony of his on that cathedral’s steeple when I get my paws on them.” T-Bone chuckled as he flexed his paws, his morbid humor a mask of the seething anger that was trying to emerge its ugly head.
Felina walked up to Razor with her paws on her hips and looked him straight in the eyes. “Where are we?”
“And, where are the rest of my men?” Feral exclaimed in exasperation after seeing that his original unit was now gone..
“That creep must some have sent them somewhere else,” T-Bone guessed, closing his eyes.
Razor shook his head. “We have nothing, no extra weapons or ammunition, no transportation, no extra clothing, no food….”
Felina looked at Razor questionably. ‘I’m waiting for you to answer my question…where are we?”
A thunderous roar echoed throughout the forest, shattering the silence like a hammer crushing glass. Felina nearly jumped out of her skin as she stared in the apparent direction of the roar.
“What….was….that?” she demanded.
“Well, if our luck keeps up like has been, it’s probably a T-Rex,” Razor answered in matter-of-fact tone.
Feral stared at Razor, his face expressionless while Felina’s arms dropped to her side as she started to laugh. “A what?” she breathed, “I mean…come on…..you’ve got to be kidding me.”
Abi shook her head as she finished examining one of the trees. “I’m afraid they’re not; that sorcerer sent us back sometime in the dinosaur period.”
“Ohhhh…… this is just great,” Feral seethed,
“Yet, it figures,” Felina finished her uncle’s sentence, her face cringed in annoyance.
Another roar shook the forest, only this time it was closer.
“From what I know from past experience, we should continue this conversation up in a tree,” Razor suggested.
“I second that. Let’s find a tall tree fast,” Abi agreed, anxious to get off the ground to a safer height.
The five kats grouped together and started to look for an appropriate tree. Unfamiliar sounds, along with the occasional roar that was growing in velocity, crashed down around them.
“Guys, I think I’ve found the perfect tree,” Felina announced as she walked through the dense forestry up to a huge tree that provided a lot of branches that would assist in their climbing venture. Another roar, this time unnervingly close, erupted from behind them along with the sound of the undergrowth being trampled by some huge monster of the past. Without a word, Felina motioned Abi up towards the tree.
“I’m so glad I wore jeans and sneakers,” Abi huffed under her breath as she started to climb the lofty tree that stretched up before her.
As soon as Abi was up a couple branches, Feral motioned for Felina to head on up. Abi and Felina made very good progress, and soon it was only Feral, T-Bone and Razor left on the ground. They craned their necks to watch Abi climb into a huge, bed like ledge where the trees truck formed a cage with the other smaller trucks that branched off.
The fur on the back of T-Bone’s neck prickled when another roar ripped through the air. Feral quickly started to climb, with Razor and T-Bone close behind him.
“Holy Kats,” Abi breathed as she saw a glimpse of the T-Rex crashing through the woods towards their tree, obviously following their scent.
“It’s going to be right behind them,” Felina said anxiously. She crawled over to the edge and looked over to see that her uncle and the Swat Kats were in the perfect place for the T-Rex to get a quick snack. “HURRY UP – IT’S RIGHT BEHIND YOU!” she screamed.
“What did she say?” T-Bone asked, looking up at Razor and Feral.
A loud crash sounded behind him, as if to answer his question. Slowly, the three tomkats looked behind them to see that the T-Rex’s greedy eyes were fixed right on them.
“Oh crap oh crap oh crap! Move it! MOVE IT NOW!” T-Bone loudly, yet unnecessarily, urged.
The maximum speed of Feral’s climbing was pretty fast, but it proved to be not fast enough. The T-Rex charged the tree, making T-Bone and Razor loose their grip. Razor managed to throw himself to another branch to the side of him, while Feral held on, but T-Bone, who got the full force of the impact, completely lost his grip and plummeted to the ground, breaking several branches on his way by hitting them with his back.
Before he hit, he managed to somersault, sparing his back some of the impact but at the speed he hit the ground, it still managed to knock the air from his lungs.
“T-Bone!” Razor screamed. Not even thinking, he let go of the branch he was hanging onto and dropped, managing to grab hold of the bottom branch above a dazed T-Bone, and land in a crouch by his friend.
T-Bone was only a few feet away from the T-Rex, which just realized that T-Bone was closer to it then Feral was. With a deafening roar it started to walk towards him.
“Launch your grappling hook!” Razor yelled.
They both aimed for the highest branch their hooks would reach, and shot up just seconds before the T-Rex could reach them.
The T-Rex let out a fierce growl as it watched its prey escape.
“Come on bud, we’re almost there,” Razor urged his now sore partner.
They were now only a couple branches away from where the rest of their group was. Feral and Felina had their paws held out for them and helped them get up the rest of the way onto the tree’s overhanging.
“Are you alright?” Felina asked T-Bone, who was sitting against one of the trunks breathing heavily.
“Yeah. I’m fine.” T-Bone grinned. After a moment, he started to laugh. “It was right…right there! I mean, we were only a couple of inches away from one of the world’s most deadly carnivores… and… god I HATE dinosaurs.”
Nobody could help but laugh, and after a while everyone settled down and rested.
“So, what do we do now?” Abi asked after she considered the possibility that she might not return back to their time.
“I think we just need to keep an eye open for one of the Pastmaster’s time warps,” Razor spoke up for everyone else.
Another moment of silence enveloped the group.
“What happens if we don’t find a time warp?” Felina asked with a smile tugging at her mouth..
“Then just think of this as your free, lifetime survival training course.” T-Bone sighed, still leaning against one of the smaller tree trunks.
“We’ll find one, don’t worry,” Abi smiled comfortingly, trying to make light of the situation.
“Before we start looking for one, however, we should all try to get some sleep. There is no telling when we might get another opportunity to rest somewhere safe,” Feral said, his tone matter-of-fact as he made himself comfortable.
“I couldn’t agree with you more, Commander.” T-Bone yawned.
Sooner or later, one by one they drifted off into a restless sleep as darkness fell, an occasional roar or shriek from a dinosaur completely shattering the little piece of mind they had left.
Modern Times……Back the Cathedral.
“Curses! They had the amulet with them when you banished them!” The Pastmaster sneered as he watched Abi’s image in the mirror pull out the amulet from her bag.
Callie was now leaning up against the cold wall behind her, glaring at the Pastmaster and his accomplice through swollen red eyes. She watched as the dwarf menace stepped onto his pedestal and held his bony arms aloft, vials of glowing substances clutched in his tightened paws. He started to mutter ancient verses in a deep dreary tone.
Callie was consumed completely by a profound feeling of searing hatred toward her captors as she glared at them from her dark corner. The contents in the cauldron began to bubble excitedly with a renewed vigor at the command of the Pastmaster’s spell.
A big wooden bookshelf was standing up against the wall right across from her, right in reach of her chained feet. Callie studied it carefully, and she directed her eyes back to Pagane and the Pastmaster. An idea formed in her mind as she realized where the bookcase would fall IF it was pushed. She looked back over at the two wizards as she slowly slid her chained feet behind the bookcase.
As soon as the PastMaster was leaning completely over the bubbling cauldron, Callie pushed with all of her remaining strength against the back of the bookcase with her feet, which sent it and its contents rushing down onto the floor, in the cauldron and on top of Pagane and the PastMaster.
With a startled yelp, the PastMaster fell into the cauldron as the bookcase fell on top of him. Pagane leaped to aide his master when he realized that the bookcase had shoved the tiny sorcerer into the cauldron. Callie watched with a triumphant smirk on her face as Pagane pushed the bookcase to the floor and helped a sputtering Pastmaster from the steaming contents that were now dotted with ruined books. The Pastmaster was a neat shade of beet red as he stood there, glaring at Callie. She could almost see the steam pouring out from his pointy ears as she tried not to laugh at his sour expression.
“Curse you!” he spat as he threw his drenched cloak on the floor behind him. He shook in anger, an accusing bony finger shaking in her direction as he glared at her. “You have ruined my spell! There is no telling now the damage you might have caused!”
Callie said nothing in return but returned his icy glare.
He turned towards Pagane, who was trying to fish the soggy books from the discolored liquid in the cauldron. “Fetch me the book of Sight so that I may find the location of the amulet.”
Pagane went quickly to fetch the book as the irate Pastmaster walked up to the standing mirror. Pagane approached him swiftly, handing him the book with a slight bow.
Callie watched suspiciously as the Pastmaster thumbed through the ancient book.
“Even though you have complicated things, my dear queen, your desperate diversions haven’t swayed me in the least,” the Pastmaster gloated as he smirked down at the page before him, studying the elegantly written words that were on its delicate page. He closed his beady black eyes and let his head tilt back slightly, so that his face was directed at the obsidian jewel that was placed amidst silver wrought eaves that made up the mirror’s carved frame.
Slowly, the surface of the mirror began to glow subtly. Callie watched the mirror’s surface with a leery fascination as it seemed to melt away like a hoary frost would in the golden rays of a summer morning. A clear, reflective surface replaced the silver, chasing it to the very edge of the mirror’s surface, to the ancient frame.
The eerie lyrics of a mysterious ancient song seemed to emerge from the mirror as fleeting scenes of lush vegetation and monstrous, ivy covered trees, then a murky black gradually enveloped the screen, then a blurry image of cobbled streets and cottages slowly emerged. The unworldly chorus of melodious song grew louder with each passing second as gray stone walls were shown. Then, the serious face of Dr. Simian appeared. The Pastmaster turned sharply away from the mirror as Abi’s image slowly faded.
Callie held an abated breath and closed her eyes. There was a good chance that they all were alive and well.
“Pagane, what books fell into the cauldron?” the Pastmaster demanded in a steely tone.
Pagane glanced down at the ruined books that lay devastated by his feet.
“They are the journals of Queen Callista of Megalith City, master.”
The tiny sorcerer scowled. He remembered well the last time the Swat Kats had joined forces with Queen Callista. But, what disturbed him the most was that they had the amulet and its secret.
“No matter,” he comforted himself as he walked over to another bookcase. “It won’t be long until the amulet is mine and the Swat Kats along with their friends are buried along with their ancestors.”
(Author’s Note: As you might have guessed, the sense of time greatly differs from our heroes’ own time to that of the prehistoric time in which they were sent. The beginning of this section is before Callie disrupts the Pastmaster’s spell. When a drastic change befalls the Swat Kats, Abi, and the Ferals, it is then that Callie pushes the bookcase over and Queen Callista’s journals fall into the cauldron. If you are confused about anything, feel free to mail me, and I’ll get back to you ASAP ? Thanx, guys!)
Back to our heroes in the dinosaur infested jungle :P…………….
“Do you really think it’s safe to be out of the tree?” Abi asked, still nervous about leaving their little tree house haven to explore the dangerous environment around them.
“We’re not safe in one place for long; it would be safer if we kept moving on,” Razor replied as he helped her down from the last branch of the tree.
“We should really start looking for one of those time portals,” Felina added.
Abi adjusted her messenger bag comfortably onto her shoulders. Trying to be upbeat and positive, she gave her weary comrades a bright smile. “In that case, we should keep an eye out for a fruit tree or some herbs.”
T-Bone looked at her blankly. “A fruit tree?”
“Yes, a fruit tree,” Abi replied confidently. “Not all dinosaurs are carnivorous; there is bound to be edible vegetation around here. There are also the lakes, rivers and the ocean shore that provide us with fish.”
The burly Swat Kat gave her a doubtful look. “There is nothing you can do to make me go fish in this time period.”
Felina looked at T-Bone with an amused expression. “Will you stick to that decision when we have nothing to eat but fruits and plants?”
“Have you ever heard of the expression, ‘There is always a bigger fish’? And, I am pretty sure there are more big fish than little fish that occupy the bodies of water around here,” T-Bone returned challengingly.
Everyone but Feral laughed.
“Besides, fruits and veggies are better for you than meat.” T-Bone grinned.
Razor snorted as he looked over at his friend. “I would like to see you live by those words of wisdom when we get back home.”
T-Bone looked back at Razor, not amused. “Funny.”
The group grew silent as they walked through the dense, tropical forest. They soon came across a sparkling, slow moving river that was shaded by the immense tree tops above that allowed only a few shattered rays of sunlight to penetrate. As they walked up alongside the river bank, none of them saw the sudden drop off of the steep hillside due to the dense shrubbery and ferns that came up to their knees.
Feral was the first to let out a startled yelp when he and his niece discovered that the earth was no longer beneath their feet. T-Bone, Razor and Abi jumped back in alarm.
“Crud!” Razor growled as he peered down into the deep hillside.
“Do you see them?” T-Bone asked.
Muffled, yet distinct mutterings drifted up to their ears, somewhat answering T-Bone’s question. Slowly, T-Bone and Razor slid and slipped down the hillside, with Abi following slowly behind them.
The two Swat Kats reached the part where the steep slope evened out, but, instead of it being solid earth, it was a vast, deep hole of thick, sticky mud. They both stopped dead in their tracks when they saw that the two lumps in the middle of the mud hole were Felina and Feral, and they were completely covered from head to toe in mud. Razor lifted his paw to his mouth as he struggled to keep his mirth quiet. T-Bone, however, just burst out laughing. He was bent over, his stomach aching and completely out of breath with tears leaking from his eyes.
“Need help getting out, guys?” Razor managed to tame his laughter into a big grin.
“No! I do not!” Feral seethed as he stood up, resembling something relative to the monster of the black lagoon, but as soon as he stepped unsteadily forward, his foot went out underneath him and he fell flat on his back.
This made the two Swat Kats laugh even harder. Abi, who was still making her way down the hillside, slipped on a slimy root, fell flat on her tail and went zipping down the hillside right into the chuckling Swat Kats. Razor and T-Bone went toppling into the mud face first, and Abi fell flat on her back with a loud ‘SPLAT’! A previously scowling and speechless Feral and Felina found themselves laughing at their three shocked comrades who were now covered in mud.
T-Bone stumbled to his feet unsteadily and looked down at his heavily soiled flight suit.
“Ah crud!” he sputtered as he shook his arms, sending globs of mud flying.
T-Bone, like Feral, lost his balance in the slippery goo and fell on his back in the same manner as Feral.
Razor, Abi, and Felina were laughing so hard you could see the paths of the tears that were coursing down their mud covered cheeks. Even Feral couldn’t help but laugh at the sight of the two mud covered Swat Kats who were laughing with everyone else.
“Well, I must say that seeing you two in here makes me feel better about myself.” Feral chuckled as he carefully got back onto his feet and slowly waded over to the firm moss covered ledge.
T-Bone also got to his feet and waded over to Felina and offered her a mud covered paw with his bright grin standing out brilliantly against his mud-covered face.
Felina shook her head as she laughed. “It’s really sad that I don’t have a camera, you look so ridiculous.” She chuckled as she took his paw in hers.
T-Bone pulled her gently to her feet. “I do not!” he exclaimed with mock indignation. “Razor over there could pass as Wilbur off of ‘Charlotte’s Web.” T-Bone immediately felt a well aimed blob of mud splatter on the back of his head and leak down into his shirt’s collar. Abi and Felina again burst out laughing while T-Bone turned around slowly to face his friend. Razor was standing a few feet away, a mischievous smirk and glint in his eyes as he held another mud blob ready in his paw.
“Did you just….” T-Bone growled playfully as he pointed to the back of his head.
Razor threw the mud ball up in the air and caught it again, a picture of innocence on his face. “Now why would I do that to youuuu……….. THINK FAST!” With lightening speed, Razor threw the mud blob smack dab into T-Bone’s face.
T-Bone at first was stunned, but then a smirk spread across his face as he cleared his eyes of mud. “Alright, that’s it!” he growled. T-Bone pounced on his friend, sending Razor onto his back. “EAT MUD!” T-Bone laughed as he rubbed a handful of mud into Razor’s face.
“BBBLLLEEAAAHHHHH!” Razor spat. He grabbed T-Bone’s shoulders, dug his feet into his stomach, and sent his friend flying over his head. T-Bone slid on his stomach in the mud a few feet away from Razor. Before he could get up, Razor jumped on his back and wrapped his arm across his neck to where he couldn’t remove it yet he could still breathe easily.
“Lieutenant! Help me out here!” Razor beckoned the amused Felina in front of them.
Felina needlessly rolled up her sleeves. “Allllright!” Felina threw herself at T-Bone, making him fall on Razor.
Razor let out a gasp, and his grip on T-Bone loosened. “Not helping.” He panted.
T-Bone rolled around quickly and grabbed Razor. “Rub some mud in his face quick!” he instructed Felina.
Felina bent down and grabbed some mud.
“Hey, that’s not fair! I’m outnumbered!” Razor protested.
Felina and T-Bone laughed.
“Did I just hear the unbeatable Razor say he was outnumbered?” Felina admonished.
A blob of mud splattered on Felina’s face, making her drop the mud in her paw. Another blob narrowly missed Razor and got T-Bone, allowing him to get away from his blinded torturer’s easily. Abi was standing right there, a triumphant grin on her face.
“Alright, Dr. Sinian!” Razor applauded as they gave each other a high five.
“Alright, enough play! We should get a move on!” Feral announced sternly while he could be heard.
Felina and T-Bone bent down and grabbed some mud.
“Right after we settle this, Uncle!” Felina grinned, attempting to stare down Abi.
“Bring it on!” Razor returned challengingly.
Feral shook his head as he peeled off his coat. He let out a sigh as he settled down on the damp ground of the hillside and watched them exchange heavy fire. He surprised himself with the fact that he didn’t mind watching the mud fight, and that he found it pretty entertaining.
An hour later……
“I’m telling ya, it was a tie!” Razor argued goodnaturedly while they all walked down onto the bank of the river.
“Nope, we clearly won, huh uncle?” Felina insisted, looking over at her uncle for support.
Feral shook his head. “I don’t know; it looked like a tie to me.”
“Ha!” Abi cried triumphantly.
“Well, we should have won because you helped them out!” Felina smiled, looking over at her uncle accusingly.
“Yeah! It wasn’t fair that I was your primary target,” T-Bone stated. He was the muddiest of them all.
Feral smirked. “It was a lot more satisfying to hit you with mud than it was the others.”
Everyone but T-Bone laughed. “Now why don’t I find that surprising?” the burly tom sighed as he brushed some mud from his clothes into the slow moving water.
“Because it’s a cold fact of nature that he hates you more than me,” Razor stated smartly before he dove into the deep river.
T-Bone just shook his head as he waded in deeper.
Everyone washed themselves clean and then relaxed on the creek’s banks. Abi was wading to her waist, studying the river’s sandy bottom for some small creature that she had read about in one of her books. Feral had dozed off leaning on a tree trunk, while Felina sat in between the two Swat Kats, Razor was laying on his back while T-Bone sat and cleaned his almost empty glovatrix.
Then, the peaceful quiet was broken suddenly by a startled yelp as Abi disappeared underwater. Razor leaped up, T-Bone, Felina, and Feral only seconds behind.
“Wait here!” Razor yelled to them before he dove into the water.
They had no choice but to wait as they watched Razor’s blurry image zip out to where Abi had disappeared.
Razor was expecting nothing less than some horrific monster with sharp claws and fangs, but instead, he saw a giant hole on the river bottom of a swirling, light blue with streaks of white. Abi had been sucked into the time portal. Razor kicked up quickly towards the river’s surface.
“Come on out here quick! It’s a portal!” he instructed urgently. They all were out there in a matter of seconds. “Okay, the Commander and Lieutenant Feral will go in first. Then you’ll go, T-Bone, and I will follow you.”
Feral and Felina both took a deep breath before they went under. After a few seconds, Razor and T-Bone followed suit. Razor watched T-Bone disappear into the portal.
Razor was just about to go into the portal when he felt something cold and slimy grab his ankle. He whirled around quickly and was staring into the cold yellow eyes of an eel like creature the size of a giant anaconda. The creature with a powerful flick of its slimy tail shoved Razor into the sandy bottom. Razor quickly seized the small slimy log that lay buried in the sand next to him and put it in front of his neck. The eel’s mouth closed around the log, and its teeth sunk into its soft organic flesh easily.
Knowing that the small log wasn’t going to last for very long, he got his glovatrix paw free and slammed down on the beast’s head with all of his force. The eel hissed in pain as it reared up in a cloud of its own blood. Razor then aimed his glovatrix and deployed a slicer missile. The eel’s grasp on his ankle went limp as he severed it. Before the creature realized that its tail was gone, the last of its intended prey’s slicer missiles found its mark.
Razor kicked away from the eel’s headless and tailless body towards the portal. Before anything else could target him for their next meal, he disappeared into the portal. As soon as he went through it, it shrunk and completely disappeared from the river’s bottom, the kicked up sand falling silently like snow upon the eel’s carcass and the disturbed area where it had been only seconds before.
Razor found himself falling through air. Before his body could react to the drastic change, he fell through an already made hole in a thatched roof. A broken rafter caught the release string of his parachute, making it burst forth from its case and tangle in the broken rafters. His fall was stopped violently ten feet from the floor.
“Hhhhhhheeeeeelllllmmmmmmmpppphhhhh!” he wheezed as his harness grew suffocatingly taunt from the sudden stop of his plummet. He let out an irate groan as he twisted and swung amidst draping canvas and rope. It was then that he heard an excited voice that was all too familiar.
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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.