Three’s a Crowd By Karen Mueser
Felina was diligently filling out one of her reports at the small desk in the Enforcer Lounge, when she heard some kat behind her.
Turning around she saw her uncle standing over her holding a bouquet of fresh roses.
Groaning, Felina did her best to avoid her uncle’s gaze.
“Felina, this is the third time this week and it’s only Wednesday. Three attacks in one month and flowers every day. This is just too much,” he said handing her the flowers.
Quickly she read the card. Sighing she said, “I can handle this, uncle.”
“But I’m not going to let you. Your father would never forgive me if I let something happen to you.”
“But uncle, I don’t see any reason why-”
“This kat has already demonstrated that he’s crazy. You’re relieved of duty as of now and that’s final Lieutenant,” said Feral sternly.
Sighing Felina looked at her uncle. Her father was way too protective even from afar. Looking at her uncle again she gave up without a word.
“Good. Pack your things and come to my office. I’ll tell you then where you’ll be staying for a while.”
Felina returned to her small Enforcer apartment a couple floors up and packed her suitcase noticing there was a message on her answering machine. Ignoring it, she returned to her uncle’s office.
Feral watched her enter and sit down, noticing she wasn’t happy at all.
“I’m doing this because I care besides it’s my duty to protect the citizens of Megakat city and you’re one of them,” he informed her.
“I know but I still don’t like it. Anyway, what hole in the ground will I be hiding in?” asked Felina very annoyed with her present situation.
“The Megakat Salvage Yard.”
Chance Furlong and Jake Clawson, resident mechanics at the salvage yard, were currently watching some bad ‘B’ horror flick, laughing at the bad acting and terrible special effects.
A giant bowl of butter popcorn sat between them as they settled down for the all night movie marathon.
Suddenly lights from a car shown through the garage as it pulled into the salvage yard.
“Ahh crud. It’s the best part too,” groaned Chance as he moved to go see who was in the salvage yard.
I’ll get it. I’ve seen this movie before,” said Jake getting up.
“Thanks buddy.” grinned Chance sinking back into the movie
Jake walked through the garage and out to meet the car. To his surprise, he saw Commander Feral and some figure hidden in the shadows.
“What brings you all the way out her Commander?” asked Jake a little suspicious.
Chance heard Jake say something about Commander Feral and decided that the movie could wait. Joining Jake and Commander Feral, Chance looked curiously at his partner. Jake just shook his head. He had no idea why Feral would come all the way out to the salvage yard to see them.
“There’s a kat being stalked. She’s been attacked three times in the last month and needs a safe place to hide out until the kat is caught. I can’t spare anymore Enforcers and you two were the closest thing. If you do this, some of the bill you owe the city will be removed,” said Feral. Feral didn’t like bribing them but he need to get these kats to look after Felina because he knew they would do a good job.
Thinking this over Jake nodded to Chance who in turn agreed.
Almost sighing in relief, Feral walked to his car where the shadowed figure stood with a suitcase.
Because of the light Chance and Jake couldn’t see the she-kats face but as soon as Feral gave her a quick hug, they knew who it was.
Whispering to Jake, Chance said “Who is that dangerous that Feral would want to hide Felina? She’s almost a one kat army.”
“Good question, buddy,” said Jake as Feral drove off leaving Felina to join them.
“This wasn’t my idea,” said Felina. She knew they were thinking that she could take care of herself. Her reputation as a tough kat was well known through her Enforcer actions.
Both Chance and Jake said nothing leaving them in an awkward silence until Chance asked Felina to tour their small home to see if they could find a place in there that they could make into a bedroom for her. Finally they decided to clean out a large storage room for Felina.
As they were cleaning, Jake asked “So why is your uncle so worked up about some kat following you?”
“About a month ago I started getting flowers from this mystery kat. At first they were nice but then the notes started getting threatening. My uncle put me on duty with another kat at all times just to be safe but he still attacked me. The first time we scared him off. The second time, he didn’t get near enough to me. But the third time he put my partner in the hospital. He’s still recovering now. That was Saturday.”
“Monday came and so did flowers and on Tuesday and finally today. The notes are always threatening and well my uncle just got too worried and decided to hide me here. We still don’t know who he is but my uncle’s working on the case himself. We’ll know shortly.” said Felina confidentially.
They worked for the rest of the time in silence until the room looked livable in.
“It’s not much Lieutenant but it’s the best we can do for now,” said Chance dusting his hands off.
“Thanks I owe you guys and you don’t have to call me Lieutenant. You can call me Felina.”
Yawning Jake glanced at his watch. “Hey buddy, I think it’s past our bedtime,” he said grinning. Showing Chance his watch, his partner noticed it read two-thirty AM. They had started at ten o’clock.
“Thanks guys,” called Felina as they left shutting her door.
As soon as the door was closed, Chance and Jake walked outside into the warm September night air and began a hushed conversation.
“What are we going to do about the Lieutenant? We can’t become the SWAT Kats if she’s here,” whispered Chance. “And what if Callie needs us?”
“I can disconnect the alarm and reroute it to some smaller receivers like in the tow truck. That way, only we’ll know if the alarm is going off.”
Looking at his partner in the dim moonlight, Chance quickly agreed.
“Ok I’ll take care of it as soon as I’m sure that Felina is asleep.”
Felina was still having a hard time getting to sleep even though she had been in bed for an hour. Every time she closed her eyes, she could see that kat attacking her as he did before.
The kat was huge, even bigger that her uncle. He rivaled Dark Kat in size. He had this terrible mocking grin on his face as Felina saw him knock her partner against a nearby wall. She was seeing that last attack all over again and it terrified her.
Her uncle never knew how terrified she was of that kat because before her uncle arrived on the scene she had mastered her emotions. Secretly Felina was glad that her uncle had sent her here.
Suddenly, she heard someone walking around outside her door.
Getting out of bed, she walked quietly to the door and cracked it just enough to see.
In the dim light she could only see shadows but this shadow was unmistakable. It was Jake and he was opening some kind of trapdoor in the floor. She watched him disappear into the floor and return shortly later. Carefully he shut the door and covered it with a rug.
Felina could hardly wait to see what two ordinary salvage yard mechanics could be hiding but her Enforcer training helped her to be patient as she waited for enough time to tick away. Finally she made her move.
Locating the trapdoor, she carefully opened it without a sound and lowered herself down the ladder. At the bottom, she turned around to see a large hanger lit dimly by a few emergency lights. But what she saw baffled her.
There, in all it’s glory, was the Turbokat! Two lockers held the name T-bone and Razor on them and a table stood filled with various gizmos, parts and tools. Not moving from the ladder, Felina realized the SWAT Kats would probably have an elaborate alarm system that she probably didn’t want to get caught in.
Deciding she had seen enough, Felina crawled back up the ladder, replaced the trapdoor, and returned to her room.
Even though she knew what she saw, her mind refused to believe what she saw. Somehow it just seemed impossible.
‘Could these two ex-Enforcers really be the SWAT Kats?’ she thought as she finally drifted off to sleep.
Commander Feral sat writing out a report at his desk when there was a knock at the door. A rather low ranked Enforcer entered bearing a letter.
“Commander, this came in the mail this morning. It was wasn’t marked with a return address.”
Nodding, Feral dismissed the kat and looked at the envelope.
The envelope had his name scrawled on it and nothing else. Oddly enough it was written in red ink.
Opening the letter, Feral read:
‘Commander Feral, why have you hidden her from me? It is inevitable that I will find her again no matter how well you hide her from me. And I will find her believe me. I will find her if it takes ten years and she will be taken care of. Then you will be next Commander. I can promise you that. Consider yourself warned.’
At the bottom of the letter it looked as if the writers red pen broke while writing because bright red dots splattered the page almost like blood.
Crumpling the letter up, Feral stood and began to stare out the window almost as if he was searching for the kat.
Elsewhere in the city a dark meeting was taking place between Dark Kat, Dr. Viper and a mysterious shadow almost the size of Dark Kat.
“I will not wait much longer. My plans to take over Megakat city cannot wait,” came the ominous voice of Dark Kat.
“But I will take over Megakat city firssst, Dark Kat,” hissed Viper, his eyes glowing in the dim light. “And I ssshall have my Megassswamp City.”
“You will never succeed in taking over the city, either of you because Commander Feral stands in the way. Even if his Enforcers are fools, he controls the life-blood of the city. The SWAT Kats are nothing without him. He really runs this city and without a head, the body dies. Without Feral the SWAT Kats would be nothing to take care of,” said the ominous character.
“If you follow my plan both of you shall have what you want and I shall have what I want; the end of Commander Feral.”
Felina had gotten used to the usual routine and even began helping out with the car repairs making time go faster for all of them. Although she had to hide in her room whenever any kat came to the garage, Felina was enjoying herself at the Salvage Yard. Her nightmares had even stopped coming and she could sleep peacefully for once.
For the past three months she had been living with Chance and Jake and her uncle still hadn’t gotten anything on the Kat following her. She hadn’t even spoken to her uncle since he dropped her off at the salvage yard.
Fortunately for Chance and Jake nothing major had happened in Megakat city that merited the SWAT Kats attention. And, of course, Feral attributed that to the good work of his Enforcers. Chance and Jake thought nothing of the fact that all the major criminals had virtually disappeared from Megakat city; they had enough cars to work on to keep them busy.
Since Felina was only a temporary resident there, she generally went along with the set patterns that Chance and Jake already followed but on a few occasions, she managed to get what she wanted from Chance.
This was one of those times.
Felina had always had a Christmas tree wherever she happened to be living at the time and just because she was in a salvage yard hiding from a deranged psycho kat, wasn’t going to stop her from having her Christmas tree.
“Haven’t you ever gotten a tree?” asked Felina.
Chance was just about to roll under a car to fix it when Felina began to bug him again about a Christmas tree. “We never have before so why should we start now?” he asked rolling under the car.
“Because it wouldn’t be Christmas without a tree,” said Felina.
“Christmas has always come and gone and I haven’t gotten a tree since I was a kitten.”
“I’ve always had a tree, no matter where I’ve lived,” she replied.
“Would it stop your complaining if we got you a tree?” asked Chance finally giving up. He certainly didn’t feel like arguing with Felina right now.
“Come on buddy, let’s go get a tree for the Lieutenant. Maybe it’ll keep her quiet awhile.” said Chance rolling out from underneath the car and getting up.
All the while, Jake was grinning from ear to ear. Felina had managed to get what she wanted from Chance … again.
“Thanks guys!” called Felina as they got into the tow truck to go get her a Christmas tree.
Commander Feral sat in his office staring out his window once again. This time snow flakes were falling over Megakat city. Yet he still knew nothing about Felina’s attacker.
‘We’ll have a white Christmas this year,’ thought Feral, his mind wandering.
Bringing himself back to the present, Feral decided he should go visit Felina at least for Christmas. After all, he hadn’t talked to her in three months. Besides tomorrow was Christmas Eve. ‘At least the SWAT Kats haven’t been around to cause him any more trouble,’ he thought idly.
Standing up Feral, grabbed his coat thinking he ought to go get Felina a present.
As he put his coat on he noticed a sealed envelope sticking out of one of his pockets.
Tearing open the letter addressed to him in red ink again, he read:
‘Seasons Greetings, Commander! Congratulations, you’ve hid Felina quite well. I have yet to locate her but be warned, I will find her soon. Then she shall pay and you will be next on my list… Where will you hide, Commander?’
The entire letter was written in red ink as before and the bottom of the letter was splattered with drops of ink just like before.
“At least he still hasn’t found her yet,” mumbled Feral as he tossed the letter to his desk top and left.
It was Christmas Eve and Felina sat looking at the beautifully decorated tree and couldn’t help feeling sad. They didn’t have any Christmas ornaments for the tree, so Jake made some out of odds and ends he found about the salvage yard and Chance added a box of candles making the tree just perfect.
Yet Felina was still sad. She always spent her Christmas with her uncle and their family but because of that crazy kat she couldn’t. She couldn’t stop the tiny tear from escaping her eye and rolling down her cheek.
Suddenly Jake joined her and brushed away the tear. “Merry Christmas Felina,” he said timidly handing her a box. He was always shy around she-kats even after living with Felina for three months. “I thought you might be feeling a little sad so I got something to cheer you up.”
“How sweet Jake!” she said giving him a hug. “You didn’t need to.”
“I know but I wanted to,” he said giving her a small smile.
Inside the box was the most adorable teddy bear Felina had ever seen. Perhaps it was because Jake’s timing had been perfect. She was feeling pretty sad until Jake gave her the teddy bear.
“Jake, it’s so adorable. Thank you so much,” she said giving him a heart warming smile. “You know, I would have gotten you something but I haven’t been getting out much lately.”
Jake laughed, perfectly understanding the reason.
Suddenly a car pulled in the salvage yard, the lights shining into the room brightly.
Sighing Felina picked up the teddy bear and disappeared into her room.
Joining Jake, both Chance and Jake moved to meet the kat who pulled into the salvage yard so late on Christmas Eve.
As they drew closer, they noticed the kat was Commander Feral.
“Anything new?” asked Chance.
Shaking his head, Feral said “Only that he still doesn’t know where she is. I thought Felina might want to see a fresh face especially on Christmas Eve.”
Leading Feral to Felina’s room, he knocked on the door.
When Felina opened the she immediately gave her uncle a big hug and asked “You caught him?”
“No, I just came to visit you.”
“What I really want is to do is to get out of her. Don’t get me wrong guys it’s a nice place but it gets dull after staying here everyday, all day for months on end.”
“That’s understandable,” grinned Jake.
Commander Feral stayed a while and talked to Felina about what was going on and generally made her feel better but as he drove off to Megakat City, he was unaware of the eyes that followed him from the darkness. The eyes glittered in the near darkness accompanied by a devious grin.
Shortly after, Dark Kat, Dr. Viper and the mystery kat met once again.
“I hope you have news about our plan for your sake,” said Dark Kat.
“I have good news. I have found Felina and tomorrow I will be rid of her and Commander Feral. I will make sure you know when they are taken care of, then you can move into take care of the city.”
“I ssshall rule Megakat city, Dark Kat. I will take over city hall before your forcesss come even close,” hissed Viper.
“Don’t count on it, you snake,” countered Dark Kat.
“We ssshall sssee, Dark Kat. We ssshall sssee.”
Chance, Jake and Felina were just sitting down to a big Christmas breakfast when suddenly a huge kat entered the tiny little home.
Other than Commander Feral and Dark Kat, this kat was the biggest that Chance or Jake had ever seen. He dressed entirely in black and wore a huge black overcoat. The kat’s eyes were so black nothing reflected in them, not even a glimmer of light. Over all he was a frightening kat.
Felina saw the kat and froze in mid bite. He had found her and there was no place to run. It was the kat who had attacked her.
Jumping to their feet, Chance attempted to buy time for Felina to escape and dove at the kat.
Chance was a rather well built and strong kat but was swatted away like an annoying fly. But that was enough of a distraction for Felina to make a break out the front door.
As soon as Felina was gone and the kat had followed her, Chance stood up groggily and said “Jake open the hanger door, I’ll try to steer her that way. Maybe we can get her hidden there.”
Nodding silently, they took off. Chance to follow Felina and Jake to open the hanger door.
Felina ran through the mazes of cars and piled up metal of the salvage yard but suddenly she pulled up short. ‘A dead end!’ her mind screamed at her.
Turning around she saw the kat had followed her and cut off her escape. He had no trouble following the fleeing Felina because her tracks were easily followed in the new snow.
“This is it Felina. Your time is up,” said the kat reaching into his overcoat and producing a laser rifle.
Felina was able to dodge his shots but the kat didn’t miss everything. His shots toppled a precariously balanced pile of cars onto Felina.
Grinning as the cars came to rest, the kat was sure that Felina was done for. “That’s one Feral done and one to go,” he said confidentially.
Chance heard the pile of cars fall and had hidden behind another larger pile as the kat passed by. Over hearing the mumbled phrase, Chance knew instantly who the kat was after next.
As soon as the kat disappeared, Chance was bolting to the garage hoping to find Felina safe in the hanger and to warn Commander Feral.
Very few kats worked Christmas day in the Enforcer building and Feral was one of them. Whistling a Christmas tune he heard on the radio that morning, Feral thought there was nothing that could spoil his good mood.
Suddenly the phone rang.
Picking up the phone, Feral heard the adrenaline pumped voice of Chance.
“Feral that kat was here… He’s on his way to the Enforcer building now…”
“Is Felina alright?” asked Feral, his good mood vanishing.
“She’s…” started Chance but that’s all he could say. The phone line had been cut.
Hanging up the useless phone, Feral sat facing the door, waiting. If anything had happen to Felina, that kat would be dead as soon as Feral saw him.
Without warning the door crashed open and the kat walked confidently into the room.
“Your turn, Commander… Felina is under six tons of cars right now. Some how I don’t think that she’ll ever see the light of day again.”
Growling, Feral said “You’re a dead kat.” as he stood and moved out from behind his desk.
“What a threat!” mocked the kat. “But somehow I don’t think you’ll carry out that threat.”
Springing at Feral, the kat took Feral by surprise and took him out by the waist, knocking the breath from his lungs and sending both of them to the ground. Before Feral knew what was happening he found the kat on top of him trying to ring his neck but the Commander of the enforcers was resourceful and kicked him off.
Standing up, he gasped for breath and waited for the kat to make his next move.
“I haven’t the time to play with you Commander. I’ve got a schedule to keep and cities to take over. Good-bye Commander, it was fun while it lasted and by the way, thanks for leading me to the Lieutenant last night. It saved me about another week worth of work,” he said pulling a small hand gun from somewhere in his voluminous overcoat and shooting at Feral.
Feral managed to dodge the first bullet but the office window was shattered by the tremendously powerful gun allowing the biting cold air to rush into the office. However Commander Feral wasn’t so lucky the second time.
The second bullet hit Feral solidly in the left shoulder sending sheer pain through his body. Grunting in pain, Feral fell to the floor within inches of the edge.
“Don’t you wish you had an office lower to the ground, now Commander?” mocked the kat as he pushed Feral over the edge of the building.
“I’m not going alone!” yelled Feral grabbing the kats huge overcoat pulling him out the window along with Feral.
Ann Gora, as usual, was out in the streets of Megakat city getting the days news and just happen to be near the Enforcer building when Feral’s office window was shot out.
“Jonny, can you see what’s going on?” shouted Ann as they turned to see what happened.
Using the zoom lens on his camera, Jonny focused in on the broken window gasping at what he saw.
“Ann! It’s Commander Feral! He’s in a fight with some kat up there!” shouted Jonny.
Kats walking the streets of Megakat city turned to watch the struggle within the Commanders office while others ran to escape the falling glass. All of a sudden, Commander Feral and the kat fell from the window.
Kats screamed in terror as they watched the forms fall from the dizzying height towards the pavement. Ann Gora was describing the scene all throughout the fight but as the kats fell she grew silent.
Out of nowhere, the Turbokats engines roared in the confining space of the buildings and a net shot out catching Commander Feral.
For a moment the kat who attacked and nearly killed Commander Feral, held on to the net but his grip failed him and he fell to the street with a sickening crunch.
Carefully landing, the SWAT Kats jumped from their plane to check on Feral. Finding a very faint pulse and a gun shot wound, the two kats carefully took Feral to the Turbokat and placed him in Razor’s seat.
T-bone fired the engines and took off for Megakat General Hospital leaving Razor behind.
Before Ann Gora had a chance to even approach Razor to find out what was going on, Felina Feral, who hadn’t been seen in Megakat city for months, appeared on the Cyclotron.
Just as the pile of cars were about to fall on Felina, the hanger door opened directly below her feet sending her crashing onto the Turbokat’s and the cars onto the shut door of the hanger.
Even though Felina already knew they were the SWAT Kats, she was still amazed but readily promised to keep their secret.
After clearing away the hanger door, the SWAT Kats took off for the Enforcer building and Felina road off towards the same place on the cyclotron, desperately hoping that they weren’t too late.
Jumping into the second seat, Felina tore off towards the Hospital at Razor’s direction. Unfortunately leaving a large group of confused kats behind.
Feral drifted through a world of dreams and nightmares but mostly the same nightmare over and over again.
He kept seeing Felina being killed by that kat and himself falling from his office yet never hitting the ground. The nightmare ended as he fell and started over with Felina dying again.
Felina had sat with her uncle for hours after his surgery refusing to leave despite the doctors advice that it might be hours until he would awake.
Suddenly Feral’s eyes opened trying to focus in on Felina.
“Felina?” asked Feral weakly.
“I’m right here,” she said squeezing his hand.
“What happened?” he said a little stronger.
“You and that kat fell from your office window. The SWAT Kats showed up just in time to save you but he wasn’t so lucky.”
“Somehow I don’t feel bad,” said Feral giving his niece a small smile.
“Me neither,” agreed Felina.
The newspapers and news stations fed off of the story, each claiming they had the true story. Commander Feral and Felina were tight lipped about the whole incident and eventually the story faded away.
But to both Feral’s, it wouldn’t disappear that easily. Both shared a frightening experience with that kat.
After a long search they found the kat was really Michael Longtail an ex-convict busted by Felina and Commander Feral when Felina first transferred to Megakat city. The kat spent three years in jail and then disappeared once released.
Apparently he held a bigger grudge against the two Ferals and came after them.
In Commander Feral’s office, Felina stood once again in her Enforcer uniform helping out her uncle with reports. Although his arm was healing well, he still had to keep it in a sling which kept him from doing reports by himself.
It didn’t really bother Felina though. She would put up with the extra reports to be with her uncle.
“At least he’s gone now,” said Felina looking at the report before placing it in a file cabinet.
“That’s one case that I won’t miss,” said Feral blankly. “I wonder how the SWAT Kats knew what was going on. I remember them saying something about making it in time,” wondered Feral absently.
“I wouldn’t be complaining uncle,” said Felina.
Returning to the present, Feral said “No but I would like to thank them.”
“I think they know,” said Felina.
Feral looked quizzically at Felina but thought nothing of it. Both of them had been acting strangely after their near death experiences.
Around Megakat city snow fell and life returned to normal or as normal as life was in Megakat city. Especially with archvillains trying to take over the city and vigilantes flying about and saving it.
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.