James L. King
Date started: 01-03-2003
Date Completed: 05-21-03
Author’s notes: Hehe, those who been around long enough will see a big poke at one of the best archive authors… Otherwise, this fic is almost entirely fluff, although it is fluff that is needed to explain some of the stuff in later fics in the series.
Summary: Fluff, my friends, total fluff.
January 13, 1997
PUMADYNE TO HELP REBUILD CITY!
By John A. Walther, AP
In an effort to patch their damaged reputation, Puma-Dyne Technologies, under the lead of Aleksander Leon, has declared that they will mass-produce an inexpensive robot to assist work crews in repairing the damages caused when Puma-Dyne founder and CEO Glenn A. Puma prevented the SWAT Kats from stopping Rex Shard from destroying several skyscrapers with one of their jets.
In our investigation, we found…
* * *
“PIXIE STIX!!!! YAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!” Jake and Chance wave at the brown-furred she-kat that runs out of the convenience store with her paws full of the candy. It was a weekly routine, one that they rarely got to miss. The she-kat, they had found out over time, was named Di, and at times, a customer of theirs. They kept a small stash of the candy just for her when she came by for a tune-up.
They head into the store, and split up to do a little shopping. Jake heads off to the cooler, while Chance hits the paper stands.
“Jaaaake…” Chance hollers as he grabs a paper.
“What?” Jake asks, confused by his partner’s shocked look.
Chance all but shoves the newspaper in Jake’s face.
“Oh, crud,” Jake replies, nearly dropping the milk.
“Yeah,” Chance replies, his voice a whisper.
“It might not be the same…” Jake replies, also lowering his voice.
“No, Jake, it is… Our bright and shiny future’s gonna happen,” Chance continues to whisper.
“I–it might not, Chance. The Me–they’re in a high security vault.”
“We should tell Callie and Felina.”
“I can’t tell her, Chance. What if i–it doesn’t happen? She’ll live in fear of my death for years, and it’ll destroy both of us!”
“It might, but I’m gonna tell Felina all the same. I suggest you tell Callie.”
The two toms silently walk to the counter and pay for everything before leaving.
* * *
At the same moment, at Pumadyne,
Hackle, hobbling as fast as he can to the acting CEO’s office, walks past the secretary.
“Sir, you can’t go in there!” she says.
He ignores her and walks into the large plush office.
“Who are you?” the kat behind the desk asks.
“Professor Isaac Hackle. I designed the robots you are producing to rebuild the City. I’ve found several flaws in the operating software of the robots, and I have a slight re-design of the Control matrix helmet,” he says. He drops the folder he’d been carrying on the desk.
“These are unnecessary modifications. A retinal scanner in the matrix helmet? No one’ll get past the guards! And these proposed software changes’ll take too long to develop. They’re completely unneeded.”
“You forget where you are. This is MegaKat City. I could get past the guards. So, there is a very good chance that a criminal could break in and reprogram all the robots. If that happens, this City would fall in a matter of hours.”
“*No one* could get past *all* the guards,” the tom-kat re-iterates.
As he gives the tom a look that said, ‘Are you daft?’ Hackle pulls out a CDROM and places in on the desk. “This is the new operating software for the robots. I took the time to program and debug it myself. If it isn’t integrated into the robots, there’s no telling what may happen if someone got into the Control Matrix room.”
He turns and walks to the doors, then turns. “Mark my words, I cannot be held responsible if the robots go beserk from criminal reprogramming.” He hobbles out, closing the door behind him.
The tom looks at the CDROM and folder, then throws them into the wastebasket.
* * *
“Felina, read this newspaper article, willya?” Chance says as he sits on the sofa, looking hopeless. She takes the proffered paper and quickly reads the article.
“Yeah, what about it, Chance?” she asks as she sets the paper down and sits down next to her fiancé.
“I don’t know when it’ll happen, I don’t know if it even will happen, but Jake and I will die when the MetalliKats take over those robots.”
“The PastMaster will revive the MetalliKats and use them to take over the robots, and through the robots, the MetalliKats will take control of the City.”
“How do you know this?”
“I’ve been to the future. A future. It may not even happen, but…” Chance says while pacing in front of her.
“Wait a second, you’ve been to the future?”
He stops and turns to face her, saying, “Remember the time we caught you at Old MegaKat Bridge, then got pulled through time by the PastMaster?”
“Yes. So, he took you to a future where you are dead?”
“Yeah. Before we were able to return…” he says as he gently lays a paw on her shoulder. He looks down, locking eyes with her, “You kissed me and told me to take care of myself. For a second, I saw the same look in your eyes that I saw again just a couple weeks ago, when I proposed to you. Felina, I’m sorry. I don’t know what to say or do. I don’t want to hurt you, but I may die soon.”
“Chance, I love you. Nothing can change that. Whatever time you have left, I want be with you,” she says, standing. She turns and takes his paws, then leads him up to his bedroom.
* * *
“You seem distracted, Jake,” Callie says as she stares at him over the pizza and sodas. The waitress removes the nearly empty pitcher of soda and places a new one on the table.
“I’ve been thinking,” he replies, chewing thoughtfully at a piece of pizza.
“Care to share what’s on you mind?”
“It’s nothing important.”
“Well, then stop being all sad and gloomy, or I’ll have to cheer you up.”
“What exactly does ‘cheering me up’ entail?” he asks, then immediately regrets it.
“Oh, let’s see, my bedroom, the both of us, minus clothing, and lots of, well, exercise.”
“I dunno,” Jake replies.
“Well, I do. Are you going to act yourself, or do I have to help you?”
Jake nods glumly and tries to smile. He finds he can’t, but when he locks eyes with Callie, a genuine smile crosses his face, although it subsides into a content expression.
“Much better, Jake,” she says, taking a bite of her pizza.
He couldn’t get the newspaper article or his short conversation with Chance out of his mind, but he did his best to push his concerns to the side and pay attention to his fiancé.
* * *
Hackle sat inside a turret in his lab, welding. He knew, in order to keep his equipment safe, he’d have to set up a patchwork defense network that could keep a Megabot out of the compound.
After a long while, he gets out and walks around outside, to try to clear his mind. He hears a rumble from the sky, and sees a Time Vortex open. He readies his cane as a weapon, and activates its stun feature.
What he sees next surprises him. Not the PastMaster, but a figure wearing a long brown robe comes out of the Vortex and lands in front of him.
“Long time no see, buddy,” the tom says in a low gravelly voice.
“Chance?” Hackle asks.
The figure throws back his hood and says happily, “Yeah, buddy.”
“Come in then, tell me what you’ve been up to,” Hackle says as they both start walking toward the house.
“About six-four, three-fifty pounds…” the mage replies.
“Same old Chance,” Hackle mutters.
“Glad to see you haven’t changed much either.”
* * *
“…and that’s what happened after I left Callista’s court,” Eugene says after downing the last of a cup of coffee.
“Go on. Tell me something else you’ve done recently,” Hackle says as he cradles his own mug.
“Well, I’ve already intervened in the Dark SWAT Kat dimension so that Queen Callista marries who she does in this dimension. More coffee?”
“So you destroyed the PastMaster there?” Hackle says as he takes Eugene’s mug and walks over to a coffeemaker.
“Yes. She was already in his clutches when I appeared in his tower. I killed his summons and then full-out assaulted him with my magics. He may have been powerful, but his powers were still no match for a combination of Sosarian magic and my own. Ahh, thanks. I haven’t had a good strong cup of coffee in what seems like a thousand years.”
“Bad joke. So, what happened?”
“I know, but it still feels that way. Anyway, until I showed how old I was, she was gettin’ all hot on me. If I still looked my real age, she’d for sure have tried to get me.”
“So, what is your next time flow to fix?”
“My final flow to fix will not be for some time. I still have half a hundred interuptions to smooth out.”
“Yes. You’ll see me again very shortly, but for now, I have to go. When you next see me, I’ll be ready to start on the final temporal loop.”
“One question. You and I in this era seem to not remember…”
“I wipe our memories and restore both of us to our ages here.”
“Well, that answers that question. Take care, Chance.”
“You too, Jake. Oh, and make sure you have the Mega-Cybertron patrolling the beach tomorrow night, and have its weapons set to stun.”
“Something’ll happen I take it?”
“Yes. Won’t say though. You’ll find out soon enough.”
“All right then. See you later.”
* * *
September 1, 1997
A silver gate opens in front of Hackle’s house, and Eugene steps out.
“Eugene! Come in, old friend!” Hackle says.
“It’s almost time. I’ve got one last thing to iron out. Next time you see me will be just after the MetalliKats’ defeat at the paws of our past selves.”
“All right then. Come in?”
“How close is the TurboKat II replica?”
“Close, but I’ve been working more on my defense matrix so I have someplace to call home after it’s all done.”
“Good. I can help a little if you want before I have to leave.”
“I’ll take any help I can get.”
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