A Mega Katscratch
James L. King
Warnings: Language, otherwise, same as the show.
Summary: The story of Jake transferring to MegaKat City, and of his first day there. Also includes a small excerpt from a couple days after ‘Mutation City’ takes place.
Author’s notes: With my recent work on ‘Bride of the PastMaster 2’ and ‘Finality and Creeplings’, I felt inspired to tell this story. I don’t think POV is my strong point, but that’s how this story is best told. I’ve always had the impression from the first few second season episodes that Jake and Felina had known or worked with each other previously.
March 27, 1991
I hit the alarm, dreading the next ten or so hours. I will be imprisoned in a jet cockpit with a she-kat that I had thought was my friend. The operative word was thought. After my shower, I set my VCR to record Litterbin, then pull on a clean uniform.
I thought we were friends, because of a kittenhood and teen-age friendship, and our common liking of several things. I have for years been in love with a she-kat I met in high-school named Calico.
I have been developing feelings for my partner, Felina, for the last year, but in the last few months she has seemed quite cold and withdrawn. It’s because of her recent behavior that I compare my time in the cockpit with her as being like prison.
I finally get over Calico, and the one she-kat I start wanting starts acting like I don’t exist. I can’t win. First my family arranging a marriage that I would never want, then they wanted me to be a lawyer, so I joined the Enforcers to escape that, then this… I just cannot win. 15:44… time to go to jail…
* * *
I slap at the alarm, silencing the thing. Now I have to get up and face the day. I’d much rather face graveyard shift than second shift. Coffee, I need coffee. Ahh, caffiene, Columbian style. I’ll have to set my VCR again to record Litterbin. I wonder if Jake still watches him. I don’t know. I haven’t spent an ounce of time with him in the last few months.
Maybe I should spend time with him again, but then again, I wonder how much of that ‘Calico’ crap I’ll have to deal with. Crud, Jake, why can’t you love me? I want you to love me, not her…
It’s so bad now that we rarely speak in the cockpit anymore. It’s rather like watching a couple mimes… no actual dialogue, just tense silence and practiced movements.
It’s almost time for me to get to the lounge and get ready for duty. Maybe tonight we can start talking again. I need someone to talk to, and since we spend so much cockpit time together, I may as well tell him how I feel for him.
15:40. Time to go.
* * *
There he is, Jake Clawson. I wave as he walks up to his locker. He mutters a ‘Good afternoon’ to me as he opens up his locker. Jake grabs his flight suit, not even looking at the pinup of Calico in his locker. He’s about to put it on when Commander Blake comes around the corner, into the lounge.
“Clawson, Feral, my office, pronto!” Commander Blake says as spots us.
Jake turns and looks inquisitively at me. Just as fast as she had come in, she had turned and left, heading for her office.
Why does she want to see both of us? From the looks on the other pilots’ faces, they all think that we must be in some major trouble.
* * *
“What’s the reason you called us here, sir?” Felina asks as we walk into Commander Blake’s office.
“Commander Feral needs an extremely skilled RIO for a pilot under his command, and the need is an emergency. I’ve decided to transfer you, Clawson. Pack your belongings, you leave at 2400 hours. Dismissed, Clawson,” she replies as she looks me dead in the eyes.
“I said dismissed,” she says. “I’ll talk to you before you leave tonight.”
* * *
“Yes, sir,” Jake, says, then he salutes before turning around. He looks at me with a curiously sad expression, before walking off.
“At ease, Feral. I know this is hard, but you’ve been bragging on him a bit too much. Ulysses has chosen him out of all the possible candidates from across the country,” she says, her look softening substantially. “I’m giving you two weeks leave, and you can spend it anywhere but MegaKat City.”
“I’m assigning Taggart to be your RIO, just for tonight.”
With all due respect, sir… I’d prefer not…,” I say.
“With all the stink you made last year about Clawson, and the hints you dropped about wanting an RIO? Even though he’s a dawg, Taggart’s just as skilled as Clawson,” she interrupts, her face becoming cross. She continues, her voice soft and dangerous, “I also know about all the personal favors you pulled to have Jake brought here straight from the Academy. You will take Taggart as your RIO tonight. After you return from leave, I’ll make a decision regarding whether or not you will be assigned a RIO on a permanent basis or not.”
“Dismissed. Your leave starts tomorrow, after your patrol. I would suggest you make your plans then.”
I close the door, heading back to the pilot’s lounge. Jake, transferring? And I can’t tell him how I feel, because I’ll just be getting off patrol when he leaves? I… crud… don’t cry Felina, Ferals never cry.
* * *
I pull my things out of my locker and take out my pinup and clipped photos of Calico. I leave the lounge and start walking to my quarters to pack my things.
Crud. Just when I start getting over my feelings for Calico, I get transferred away from the she-kat I’m starting to get feelings for. I think I’m just gonna ditch the pinup and pictures. A tom like me would never get a girl like Calico… so why fantasize? I was always told, ‘Go with what you’re given’… and now I’m leaving my given.
One thing’s for sure, I will never marry Darlene Steele. That bitch* thinks she owns me, just ’cause our families made an arrangement. I’ll show her, one way or another, that she doesn’t own my tail.
* * * * *
This latest talk with Feral’s gotten me a bit upset. This whole underage pregnancy fiasco. The tom responsible isn’t even going to be booted off or sent to jail. At least his ex-partner proved his innocence. I walk away from his office in a blind rage, thinking the whole mess over.
“Oww,” I hear myself say after getting knocked off my feet and my glasses knocked off. I hear a slightly nasal moan come from somewhere in front of me.
* * *
“I’m terribly sorry, ma’am, I just got transferred in, and they have me running around like crazy,” I say as I pick her up and place her on her feet. I grab her papers and shove them into the document folder, then give it and her purse to her. I recognize her as Calico, the girl that stole my heart in high school. Fancy meeting her twice this way.
Kats, just as I start to get over her, here she comes into my life again…
Before she can say anything, I carefully place her glasses on her face.
* * *
“That’s ok, Lieutenant,” I say as he looks concerned and embarrassed.
“Uhh–look, I–I’m sorry, ma’am, I–didn’t see you coming,” he stammers. Something about him is familiar… high school. That’s it, high school.
“That’s ok, you said you’re new here. You just remind me of someone I met in high school.” I smile at him. “I met him the same way I just met you. In fact, what’s your name, Lieutenant?”
“J–Jake Clawson. I–I’m sorry,” he shyly says as he takes a step to the side. He looks extremely sheepish.
“So, that was you. How’ve you been, Jake? I never saw you after that year in school,” I ask. I can feel a smile starting on my face. That’s the second time we’ve met like this. He’s still just as cute as he was back then.
* * *
“Umm, fine. Uh, I–I’d love to stay and talk, ma’am, but I’ll be late for my shift. From what I was told, Commander Feral hates it when his Enforcers are late on shift. If, y–you will excuse me, I–I have to run.” Holy Kats! I’m gonna be late and she wants to chat? I gotta get outta here anyway. Girls I like make me nervous.
“Bye, Jake,” she says as I start down the hall. I look back to see her smiling at me, and smile slightly back. I can’t control my feet as I turn and run.
* * *
I turn back toward where I was going and notice something on the ground. It’s his nametag. I pick it up and follow him to Commander Feral’s office. I stand outside the office for a moment and hear an interesting conversation.
“At ease, Clawson, As you’ve probably been informed, I’m partnering you with Lt. Chance Furlong. Felina has been telling me and everyone that you are the best RIO she’s ever seen, and Commander Blake agrees. I also know all about the Academy Simulator incident, a close friend was one of the technicians that set it up for you two.”
He’s Furlong’s new partner? And, who’s this Felina? Cheryl Blake I know, she comes here twice a year, and Commander Feral goes to Katscratch twice a year. Rumor has it they have a son who’s almost grown, and that they were married at one time. And, what’s this about a Simulator incident?
* * *
“Uh, thank you, sir,” I reply. Kats, he’s more intimidating than I remember from my kittenhood.
“He’s very rebellious, and that’s nearly cost him his position several times. This time, his RIO falsely accused him of doing what he did, and Furlong seriously injured him. I’m counting on you to get and keep Furlong in line.” Whoa, not a tom to screw around with…
“Yes, sir. I’ll do my best, sir.”
* * *
“Lieutenant?” I say, walking into the office. “You dropped this.”
He scrunches his face into an embarrassed look and says, “Thank you ma’am.”
Commander Feral simply raises an eyebrow at me as I turn to leave.
I walk out and stand just outside his office and hear Commander Feral ask, “What was all that about, Clawson?”
“I… uh, ran her over in the hallway. Sir.”
I hear Feral bellow, “Deputy Mayor Briggs!”
I decide to wait a minute before walking back in. Jake looks like he’s about to face a firing squad. I can barely keep my face straight.
“Did he run you over in the hallway?”
“Yes, he did. He…”
“Do you want an administrative reprimand on him?”
I shake my head. “No. He apologized profusely and picked up all my stuff for me. He just happened to drop his nametag.”
“So, you don’t want any kind of reprimand?”
“No. If you want to punish him, you can order him to take me out on a dinner date.” Oh no, I can’t believe I let that out. May as well play through now…
* * *
I can’t believe my ears. What? I look at the Commander, who scowls as he says, “Don’t tempt me, Ms. Briggs. I might consider that when he’s settled in.”
Calico smiles seductively, sidles up to me, and lightly kisses me on the cheek. She turns and walks out, her tail twitching playfully behind her.
Not knowing what to do or say, I clip my nametag on. I can feel the blood rushing to my face.
Feral notices my discomfort and says, “I’ve never seen anyone attract her attention before. Maybe I should order you out on a date with her.”
“Uh, with all due respect, sir, I don’t even know her, and I, uh, am nervous… a–around girls, that is. Felina was the only exception. Sir.”
“Hmm. I see now.” He pauses, looking me over, “Well, Clawson, get settled in your quarters. Report to the lounge at 2300 hours, and be ready to fly.”
* * *
There’s my new partner. Tiny little tom who kicked my tail in the Sims back at the Academy. I thought ‘Jacob Clawson’ sounded familiar. I wonder if he’s related to the Clawsons that own a quarter of the City. I’ll find out sooner or later.
I turn back to my locker and finish putting my flight suit on. I glance back over at him. He looks out of place. Yeah, the uniform’s the same, but his Enforcer badges say he’s from Katscratch.
He finally locates his locker, right next to mine. He looks rather nervous as he walks up.
A little test…
* * *
I walk up to him and stick out my paw. “Hi, Jake Claw…”
“We gotta long patrol t’night. Jus’ get suited up, Scratchy,” he says, eyeing me coldly. So that’s what they call Katscratch Enforcers, huh?
“All right, ya Megalo,” I growl, using the nickname MegaKat City’s gotten among other branches of the Enforcers. Everyone looks at us as we stand there, staring each other down. From the looks on everyone’s faces, they expect me to get stomped on badly.
A smile breaks across his face, and he says, “Haven’t changed at all. That’s good. Now if ya can still shoot like ya did that day…” He sticks out his paw.
I take it and we shake, “No worries there. Now if you can fly like you did that day,” I comment. I ignore the surprised looks from everyone and open my new locker. I hang up my flight suits and pull a picture of Felina and I out of my pocket.
“Better, even. Nice t’ meet ya again,” Chance says.
“You too,” I respond. I look at the picture that we had taken of her and I from when we went to Katscratch MegaMall’s Grand Opening.
* * *
He hooks the photo into his locker door, and I look at it. The she-Kat in the picture is extremely pretty, and familiar, somehow. I usually go for blondes, like Callie Briggs, but this one looks like she’s my kinda gal.
“Who’s that, your girlfriend?” I ask.
“I don’t know whether to say yes or no. When you’re partnered with a member of the opposite sex, you tend to get emotionally drawn to them over time. If you must know, her name is Felina,” he says, looking sad.
Felina, that sounds familiar. Felina… Feral? Yeah, Commander Feral’s niece. Now I recognize her.
She was in my class in the Academy. Very pretty, and a hellkat to boot. She was the only one I never dated in our class. I take it back, definitely *not* my kind.
“Felina Feral?” I hear myself ask.
“Yeah,” he smiles, “Commander Feral’s niece.”
* * *
“She’s a heckuva girl, as I remember. We were in the same class, and she wouldn’t date anyone. Of course, *I* never asked her…” he says, a lady-killing grin on his face.
“She’d have castrated ya, just for asking,” I say, pulling a flight suit out. Chance gets a weird look on his face, and I can’t help but to laugh at it.
He snaps his arm around my neck and gives me a noogie, but it’s ok, ’cause we both are laughing like kittens after a few seconds. After a moment of some strange looks from the rest of the pilots, he lets me go, and I smooth out my fur, and continue to get my flight suit on.
I glance at the open door of his locker as I put it on. He has several magazine photos and a pinup of Calico. Makes me kinda glad I decided to get rid of my pinup and photos of her.
Glancing around at other open lockers, I see other pinups of Calico, in just about every locker. What is she, some kind of goddess?
* * *
I sit through the briefing, and look at our assigned patrol area. It’s the one patrol region I like because it has places where I can practice some hairy maneuvers without too much risk. Well, skyscrapers are *some* risk, but what’s the fun in a desert run?
I glance over at Jake, who seems a bit nervous.
Don’t worry, Jake. I’ll take care of you. The only one who’s ever shot me down is you, so I know we’ll be the best darn team here.
* * * * *
I drop the landing gear and touch down, popping the canopy. It’s been a pretty good day, all in all. We shot down a crazy hyena, calling himself Slice. We made sure that he didn’t get away. Unfortunately, we didn’t stop one of his missiles from demolishing a skyscraper.
According to Jake, Slice had been plaguing Katscratch until he came there. Now he seems to have moved from there to here, only to get shot down by the same RIO.
Unfortunately for Slice, the irony of the whole situation is pretty ironic. I just hope that MegaKat Maximum can hold him.
I also hit ‘the scrape run’ and put myself and the jet through its paces. I also knocked Jake out cold with the one maneuver. He may be a sureshot, but he can’t handle the Gees. I wonder why he was even put through the flight courses.
We get out of the jet and head toward the central building on base. I glance over at the City and look at the hulking skeletal structure of the new HQ building tower imposingly over the City. I can’t help but wonder about all the good and bad times that Jake and I will have there.
Well, here’s to starting off on the right foot, and to all the good times. I hope we’ll just roll with the bad times when they come, and make out on top.
Before we get inside, a very angry Commander Feral storms toward us, from the direction of the Admin building.
“Furlong, Clawson, my office, immediately!”
It looks like a bad time might start now…
* * *
We follow the Commander into his office, and as the door closes, he snarls, “I just got a call from Mayor Manx, and he wants the pilots responsible for destroying that skyscraper taken off the flight roster and suspended.”
“Commander, it was Slice’s missile that hit the skyscraper,” I reply as the door closes behind us. “The flight recorder might be able to tell you that…”
“Silence. I have several witnesses that confirm that, but several others who said that your missile hit the skyscraper. For that reason, I will restrict you two to chopper patrol for six months.”
“But Commander…,” Chance says.
“No buts. It took all the strings I could pull to keep you two active. Appreciate it for what it is, a favor. Dismissed.”
* * *
“Hey, Jake, wanna get some grub? I’m a bit hungry,” I say as we close the Commander’s office door behind us.
“Yeah. I’m not going to Mess, ’cause I was told that the food is the worst.”
* * *
“Yeah, it is. I was thinkin’ maybe some steak?” he replies.
Steak? that does sound pretty good.
“Uh, sure, I guess.” Eh, why not?
“Good, stop by my quarters. I got some of my dad’s recipe streaks marinading already.”
Whoa, they’ve been marinading for how long?
* * *
“All night?” he asks in disbelief.
“Yep. The longer it sits, the better it tastes,” I respond. I hope he likes ’em. My dad makes them only a certain way, and that’s how I make them.
“What time?” he asks.
“Uh, gimme two hours.” Well, I have some things to get, then I can get to cooking.
“Perfect. Be there then. Where’s your quarters at?” he asks, a grin on his face.
* * *
“Barracks 2, second floor, room 33,” he responds. Two hours is all I’ll need to make stromboli. I have to get some stuff, but making it will be a snap, if it doesn’t burn.
“Cool, I have to go get some stuff, then I’ll stop by.”
“Good. See ya then.”
* * * * *
January 13, 1994
It’s been two days since the SWAT Kats took care of Dr. Viper’s mutagen ooze, and I’ve talking to Uncle. He’s confirmed my suspicions about Razor being Jake, but has ordered me not to tell unless they unmask themselves. He himself has known almost since the first time they appeared, but plays the ‘If I ever find out who they are, they’re going to Alkatraz’ bit well enough that they feel relatively safe about their identities.
That’s why I’m driving to MegaKat Salvage yard… I have to see him. I have to know if we still are friends. I hope we still are. And maybe, just… maybe… I can tell him my feelings.
I drive into the yard and park next to a bunch of shiny-clean cars. I get out and walk inside, wrinkling my nose at the stench of the mutagen ooze that had been cleaned out of all the now clean cars. The entire workshop is a mess, and there are tracks leading inside the house.
I stand, knocking on the door for what seems to be an eternity. Finally, I try the doorknob, and the door opens easily. I step inside, saying, “Hello? Jake? Hello?”
No response, and as I take another couple steps, I see why. Jake and Chance are asleep at the table, an entire pizza growing cold on the table between them. It looks like they were so exhausted that they literally sat down to eat and fell asleep before eating anything.
* * *
That’s odd. I haven’t seen that car in almost four years. Commander Feral drove it for six months, first year of my first term. It disappeared and he started driving a souped-up Enforcer cruiser.
I get out of the cab and pay the driver, then walk in.
“Hey, guys?” I call as I walk inside the garage. The door is ajar, so I walk in, and run right into Lieutenant Feral, who is looking around.
* * *
“Oh, Lieutenant. What are you doing here?” I hear a familiar voice. I turn to see Ms. Briggs standing in the doorway.
“I was going to see Jake, but…” I point into the kitchen at the two sleeping toms. She looks in and nods slightly.
“I was coming to see if my car was clean. I haven’t got a call from them yet,” she replies.
“They’re your mechanics?” I ask.
She nods, then asks, “You know Jake?”
I smile a tiny bit as I say, “We’ve been friends since we’ve been kittens. We were partners in Katscratch before he transferred here.” We both look in at him, and I smile a bit more. I look at her to see her smiling sadly as she looks at him.
* * *
“He’s a cute tom, too bad he’s never shown interest,” I say softly, shaking my head.
“‘Never shown interest?’ He just about worshipped you. You should have seen the photos he had clipped of you, and his pinup,” she replies, suprised by my comment.
Jake liked me? No, not Jake, Chance maybe, but not Jake…
“You must be mistaken. When he was still an Enforcer, Jake was one of the only ones that didn’t have some pinup or another of me in their lockers,” I reply. “He had a picture in his locker, but it wasn’t me.”
“How do you know? Civilians aren’t allowed in that area,” she asks, confused.
“My brother, Brian, was an Enforcer. He told me. He transferred to Abysinnia last year,” I reply. “He always said it was his last partner.”
* * *
“Oh.” What? He had a picture of me in his locker? Why? “Are you sure? I ask.
“It’s just what my brother told me. I don’t know for sure,” she replies.
“Are you going to wake him up to see if you car is done?” I inquire, trying to get the conversation away from our mutual lack of love lives, and mutual, although I hadn’t said anything, interest in Jake.
“No. He’s too tired, I’ll just let him sleep,” she responds.
“Need a ride back into town?” I ask as we walk into the garage.
“Thank you, I do,” she smiles.
“I’ll take you wherever you want.” I close the house door and pull out the keys to my car.
“Thanks,” she responds as we walk to the car.
I get in, strapping my four-point on and ask as she gets in, “So, tell me about the SWAT Kats.”
*I used the word bitch for a reason. In several other countries, where there are canines, the derogative word they use for slut is bitch. Calling a she-kat a canine slut would probably be the worst insult ever for her…
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.