One month later, back in MegaKat City, search parties for Dr. Sinian are still being sent down to Antarctica. But, other than that, everything had been real easy going. Not even the SWAT Kats had been up and around for most of the month. But, that would all change.
“Hey, Jake. hand me a wrench.” Chance leaned farther in to Ms. Briggs’ car.
“Catch.” Jake threw a wrench at Chance.
He looked up from the hood and grabbed the wrench. “Thanks.” Chance leaned back in to the car.
A few minutes later, Burke and Murray arrived.
“Hey, look who’s here, Dumb and Dumber,” Jake mumbled as he and Chance trotted outside.
The two walked up to Burke and Murray. Right away, Murray made a dumb comment about Jake and Chance not being pilots any more. The two pairs of tomcats started to fight. Usually, it ended in Burke and Murray just leaving in their truck.
“Hey, there’s Jake.” The gray furred she-kat kneeled down by the edge of some metal junk. She slipped her fingers underneath her German Shepherd’s collar to keep him from running ahead of her. The she-kat watched her cousin and Chance war on with Burke and Murray. She didn’t want to intercept because she wanted to see how Jake dealt with these two trouble makers.
“Be quiet, Kodi.”
Her German Shepherd started to growl.
“If anything bad happens, I’ll let you go.”
Right then, Jake got slugged in the nose by Burke. The she-kat could see Jake had blood running from his nose. She let go of her dog’s collar, and he shot off faster than lightning.
Chance growled, and Burke went to slug him too. The huge German Shepherd ran in between the two. He growled and flashed his teeth at Burke. Chance and Jake exchanged glances. The German Shepherd chased Burke and Murray back in to their truck and right out of the Salvage Yard.
“Good boy, Kodi.” The she-kat walked toward Chance and Jake.
“Mara?” Jake rubbed his nose to get the blood off of it.
“It’s good to finally see you, Jake,” Mara said.
“You know her?” Chance questioned Jake.
“She’s my cousin,” Jake answered.
“I guess Jake didn’t tell you where I’m from. I am from Altay, Mongolia and this is my dog Kodiak.” Mara scratched behind Kodiak’s ear.
“What are you doing in MegaKat City?” Chance asked.
“Well, I’ve decided to move here,” Mara smiled. “But, I need a place to stay, just for week. So, I was wondering if I could stay here.”
“If it’s fine with Chance,” Jake said.
“She’ll have to sleep on the couch,” Chance said over his shoulder as he walked in to the garage.
Jake and Mara followed him.
As the sun sunk behind the horizon, the moon rose high above the city. Mara sat on the couch reading her magazine. She blew a bubble with her gum and then popped it. It was very quiet at the garage except for Mara popping her bubbles.
“Hey, Jake, it’s time for our night patrol,” Chance whispered.
Jake glanced at his watch. “Hey, Mara, we’re going out to fix a broke down car.” Jake walked up to the couch.
“Alright.” Mara waved them good-bye.
Jake and Chance sneaked down to the hanger.
“Think she’ll notice the tow truck’s not gone?” Chance asked as he put on his bandanna.
“Nah, she’s too busy reading,” Jake said as he slid on his helmet.
The TurboKat took off and soared up in the hot summer’s air. Everything was quiet except for the TurboKat flying through the sky.
“Let’s go check out Puma-Dyne,” T-Bone said as he whipped the jet off towards the huge lab.
“Hey, isn’t that Dark Kat’s jet down there?” Razor looked out of the cockpit at the red jet.
T-Bone set the TurboKat down on the ground and popped the canopy open. Razor and T-Bone hopped out to examine the jet.
“Man, something really tore up his jet.” T-Bone picked up a piece of metal that was lying on the ground.
“Hey, look at this.” Razor was on the ground by a good sized hole. “It looks like something drug him down under the ground. See, here’s some claw marks.” Razor ran his finger along the claw marks leading down to the hole.
“But, what’s big enough to drag Dark Kat down?” T-Bone asked as he pushed himself up.
“I don’t know.” Razor pushed himself up too.
Beneath the surface, a huge beast was lying, waiting for the perfect time to strike again. The sensory organs on her head could detect heat right above her. She could also feel the footsteps and the voices of the two unsuspecting kats. One was right on top of her; now was the time to strike.
“T-Bone!” Razor ran over to T-Bone.
“Razor, help me!” T-Bone was being drug underneath the ground.
“Give me your hand!” Razor grabbed T-Bone’s hand and pulled.
“Something’s got my leg.” T-Bone could feel teeth digging in to his leg. The creature pulled down harder.
“Oh, no you don’t!” Razor pulled back.
T-Bone could tell that the beast was winning. Razor got an idea and grabbed a hand grenade from his pocket and took the pin out then pitched it about twenty feet away.
Razor and T-Bone ducked their heads down, and the grenade went off. The two could hear loud screeching underneath the ground. The beast let go of T-Bone’s leg and took off in the opposite direction.
“It’s gone,” T-Bone said as he pulled his legs up from under the ground. His left leg was torn up and bleeding.
“Are you going to make it home okay?” Razor asked as he helped T-Bone up.
“Yeah, but what about Mara? She’s going to notice that I have bleeding leg.” T-Bone limped over to the TurboKat.
“We’ll just have to trust her,” Razor said as he followed T-Bone.
Back at the garage Mara was still reading and hadn’t even noticed that the tow truck was still there. Her mind was on other things. She couldn’t stop thinking about the accident in Mongolia. Mara hoped that her plan would work.
“What is it, boy?” Mara stroked Kodiak. He had started whining and getting scared.
The TurboKat rose up on its platform to the hanger’s main level. T-Bone popped open the canopy and jumped out. He landed on both of his feet and a terrible pain shot up his left leg.
“You gotta watch that leg,” Razor said as he came over to help T-Bone.
“Go get Mara,” T-Bone said as he sat down on the couch. There was no way he was going to get up that ladder with his leg. He took off his helmet and mask as did Razor.
“Maybe she’ll have some sort of idea of what got you.” Jake climbed up the ladder in to the garage.
Chance pulled up his left pant leg to get a better look at the damage. His leg was still bleeding; it was so torn up.
“What’s this?” Chance saw something white in his leg. He grabbed it and pulled it out. He examined it. It looked like a tooth.
“Alright, let’s have a look at that leg.” Mara slid down the ladder with Jake behind her. She walked over to Chance and kneeled down by his leg. “And, how did this happen?” Mara ran her fingers down the wounds. The wounds seemed all too familiar.
“Something grabbed me and tried to take me underground,” Chance said.
“Did the thing grab you by the foot first and drag you under then grab a hold of your leg?” Mara got up and sat down next to Chance.
“Yeah, and this was stuck in my leg.” Chance handed her the tooth.
Mara examined it. This was all too familiar. “And, you didn’t hear or see it coming?” Mara’s voice sounded nervous.
“No, it just attacked without warning,” Jake said.
Mara put her head in to her hands. “She’s here,” Mara whispered.
“What?” Chance asked. He pulled his left leg up on to the couch.
“Athena, she’s here.” Mara got up and pulled a picture out of her pocket.
“Who’s Athena?” Jake asked as he took the picture from her.
“She’s a giant snake that tunnels through the ground.” Mara took out another piece of paper from her pocket. “She feels vibrations; that’s how she found you two.” She unfolded the piece of paper in her hand.
“How big is she?” Chance asked as he looked at the tooth.
“She’s thirty-five feet long, but by the size of the tooth you had, it looks like she’s grown.” Mara showed Chance a diagram of Athena.
“So, if we didn’t move she couldn’t find us?” Jake asked.
“Yeah, but if she moves on to the second stage, there will be no way to hide from her. She’ll develop sensory organs that track heat.” Mara sat back down on the couch.
“How do know so much about her?” Chance asked Mara.
“Well, it’s my fault that she’s here. I was the one who created her.” Mara rested her head in her hands.
“Wait, you mean you created this monster?” Jake questioned.
“She was meant to be used as a test subject. But, she got out of hand and got free. But, I had made it so if she did get loose she would die from lack of Lysine. But, somehow she’s found a way to survive without Lysine.” Mara sank down in to the couch.
“You said something about a second stage, what did you mean?” Chance asked.
“Yeah, there’re three stages that Athena will go through. The first stage she only feels vibrations. The second stage she can feel vibrations and detect heat. The third stage she becomes way too smart for her own good.” Mara rubbed her fingers through her black and red hair as she thought about all of the stages.
“So, how long has she been active?” Jake asked.
“About a month and a half,” Mara answered. “I’m pretty sure she’s moved on to the second stage.”
“So, we’ll have to be real careful when we get on the ground again,” Chance said as he leaned his head back.
“The only way to keep her away is loud explosions like bombs and hand grenades,” Mara said as she got up and started heading toward the ladder. “Make sure you wrap up your leg, Chance.” Mara disappeared up the ladder.
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