Sentence teaser: Jake realizes that a strange dream he’s been having lately really did happen many years ago. The dream was always the same: about a merkat he rescued who granted him wishes in exchange for his deed… and his life! Now, the merkat has returned to claim her end of the bargain. Can T-Bone and Kat stop her from taking their friend away from them forever?
This fic was actually inspired from a story I read about a mermaid a long time ago. I figured that, in a world full of kats, this mythical sea creature would be called a merkat instead of a mermaid. Anyway, hope you enjoy the fic!
The sun was barely peeking up over MegaKat City, casting the entire city in a red-orange glow. Down at MegaKat State Beach, a lone tomkat was doing some pushups. He was a very young tomkat in his late teens with caramel fur. He was wearing black boots, army green cargo pants, a charcoal gray T-shirt with a yellow and black logo on the front, and a red baseball cap that he wore backwards.
“Okay, let’s get going,” the tomkat told himself as he stood up and started jogging down the abandoned stretch of sandy beach. The waves of the incoming tide crashed along the beach as the kat continued jogging.
Suddenly, the young tomkat stopped jogging. He thought he heard a faint cry for help. The tomkat waited for a while, then he heard another faint cry, but it was so weak that it was barely audible above the rumble of the incoming waves. He followed the sound of the cries, which eventually led him to a cluster of boulders further up on the beach. During high tide, the surf surged freely in and out of the cluster of large rocks, but during low tide, the place became a tidal pool isolated far from the ocean.
“Hello? Is there someone in there?” the young tomkat asked uncertainly.
“Please help me!” a she-kat’s voice pleaded.
The tomkat hesitated for a moment before he climbed over the lip of rock that bordered the tidal pool. When he looked down, the tomkat was startled when a pair of golden yellow cat’s eyes met his gaze. They were frightened eyes, set in a sweet, pale face that was half-hidden by her long, fiery-red hair. The top she wore was woven from fine silver thread. She also wore a string of tiny pearls, from which hung a starfish. She had the body of a she-kat from head to waist, but at the hips her body faded into a long, smooth green shape, which shimmered beneath the pool’s surface.
“I can’t believe it,” the tomkat whispered out of disbelief.
He had found a merkat.
“Help me,” the merkat whimpered as she thrashed about in the shallow pool like a fish out of water. “Help me to the water.”
The young tomkat knelt down next to the edge of the tidal pool, still staring at the sea creature in pure astonishment.
“I can grant you wishes, anything you want, if only you will get me to the sea,” the merkat promised as she raised her arms to the tomkat.
He bent down and gently lifted her out of the shallow pool. To his surprise, the merkat was as light as a feather. The tomkat carried the merkat over the lip of rock and slowly walked toward the ocean.
“Tell me, what is your name?” the merkat asked curiously as she wrapped her arms around the tomkat’s neck.
“Jake Clawson,” he replied. “Do you have a name?”
“Indeed I do, Jake Clawson. I am Undine,” the merkat introduced herself. She looked down and noticed the logo on Jake’s t-shirt. “What is this on your chest?” Undine asked as she traced around the logo with her finger.
“Oh, that’s the logo of the MegaKat City Enforcers,” Jake explained. “The Enforcers serve to protect the citizens of MegaKat City. I’ll be trying out for the Enforcers in a couple of weeks.”
“I see. Tell me your heart’s desire, Jake Clawson, and you shall have it, whatever it may be,” Undine murmured.
Jake thought about it for a few moments as he stared out at the ocean. “I want me and my best friend, Chance Furlong, to make it into the Enforcers,” he announced.
The merkat smiled and ran a delicate finger along Jake’s face. “It is done,” Undine whispered. “You have two wishes left, Jake Clawson.”
Jake didn’t realize that he was now standing in the water. “I want Chance and I to be partners, no matter what happens.”
“Done,” Undine replied. “One more wish left.”
Jake thought long and hard about his third and final wish. “I wish… I wish to find my soul mate,” he announced.
“You have it,” Undine replied. “You shall have all these gifts in time.”
Standing in the sea, Jake felt the dizzying pull of the incoming tide. His feet sank deeper into the wet sand with every wave that broke about him.
The merkat laughed as she tightened her hold on Jake’s neck. She pulled his head down so that her mouth was at his ear. “Stay with me, Jake Clawson,” Undine whispered in his ear. “What pleasures have you left on the shore?”
“Thanks, but I think I’ll pass,” Jake stuttered quickly as he tried to push Undine away from him. To his surprise, the merkat’s frail arms were incredibly strong.
As he struggled in the incoming surf, Jake noticed that Undine had lifted her starfish charm and pressed it against his chest. He felt a strange burning sensation on his chest that was coming from the starfish. Suddenly, Jake slipped on the wet sand underneath him and fell, which caused the merkat to lose her grip and land in the shallow salt water. With a powerful kick of her tail, Undine headed into deeper water, while Jake quickly stumbled to the beach.
When he was a good distance away from the water, Jake plopped down on the sandy beach and took in several deep breaths of air. When Jake looked down at his chest, he gasped when he saw a pink glow in the shape of a starfish coming from underneath his T-shirt.
“You have my mark now, Jake Clawson!” he heard Undine shout. Jake looked out at the ocean, where he saw the merkat staring back at him. “For nine years, I will bide. Then, we shall meet again, Jake Clawson. My mark will reappear when your time comes. Until then, farewell!” She gave a leap that took her further out into the ocean.
The last thing Jake saw of the merkat was the long, bright, red hair vanishing into the green water. Jake looked back down at his chest and noticed that the pink glow was gone. He looked down his T-shirt, but there was no mark on his chest at all. Jake quickly got up and ran as fast as he could away from the beach…
“Jake! Heads up!” Chance shouted.
Jake quickly drifted back to reality, but the warning came too late. He was hit in the back of the head by a volleyball, which knocked off his sunglasses.
“Jake, are you all right?” Tabby asked as Jake rubbed the back of his head.
“I’m fine, Tabby,” Jake muttered out loud as he bent down to pick up his sunglasses.
The three mechanics had the day off, so they all decided to go to MegaKat State Beach. Chance, who was wearing a short-sleeve blue dress shirt and white pants, along with his red baseball cap, picked up the volleyball and walked towards a group of she-kats in bathing suits standing next to a volleyball court.
“Hey, ladies. Did you lose something?” Chance asked suavely.
The she-kats giggled a bit as Chance approached them.
“Is Chance always like that with girls?” Tabby asked. She was wearing a white t-shirt, denim overalls, a red-and-white flannel shirt tied around her waist, and a red baseball cap.
“Believe me, Tabby, that’s just the tip of the iceberg,” Jake remarked as he put his sunglasses back on. He was wearing a yellow shirt printed with large orange flowers, blue shorts, and his red baseball cap.
“Oh, great,” Tabby muttered out loud. The two kats continued walking down the boardwalk, leaving Chance with his new friends. “He better not start that with me, or he’s gonna regret it!” Tabby added.
“I don’t think Chance will try to flirt with you, Tabby,” Jake told her. “You made it very clear to both of us that you don’t like it when someone tries to flirt with you!”
Tabby groaned out loud as she remembered her first encounter with Murray. “I’m just glad that Burke and Murray only come by once a week,” Tabby confessed as she and Jake approached a concession stand. “I don’t think I could stand it if I had to see Murray more than once a week. Even thinking about him gives me the creeps!”
Jake chuckled a bit as they stopped at the concession stand.
“What’ll it be?” the kat behind the counter asked.
“Three cans of milk, please,” Jake requested. As the kat turned around and opened up a cooler, Jake dug into his pocket and took out some money.
“Here, Jake,” Tabby announced as she handed him a dollar. “That’s for my drink.”
“You don’t need to do that, Tabby. I got you covered,” Jake replied as he gave her back her money.
“Thanks, Jake. That’s nice of you,” Tabby admitted as the kat came back with three cans of milk.
“That’ll be three dollars,” the kat announced.
“Here you go,” Jake replied as he handed the kat the money. Jake picked up two of the cans, while Tabby took the third can for herself. They sat down at a small table next to the concession stand, with a beach umbrella providing shade for them.
“Mind if I ask you something, Jake?” Tabby asked as Jake took off his sunglasses and put them in his pocket.
“Sure, go ahead, Tabby,” Jake replied.
“I know this is probably none of my business, but how did you and Chance ever become friends?” Tabby asked. “You two are about as different as night and day.”
“You got that right, Tabby,” Jake said with a short chuckle. “Well, Chance and I have been friends since we were little. We lived right next door to each other and went to the same schools together. Although, during high school, I was labeled as a geek and Chance was more of a sports jock, but we stayed best friends. We went to college together, and even when we were with the Enforcers, Chance and I were partners to the very end.”
“And you’re still partners today. As the Swat Kats, I mean,” Tabby pointed out.
“Yeah. We’ve been through all the good times and the bad times together,” Jake replied.
Tabby was about to say something when she noticed a small dark pink patch on Jake’s chest that was peeking up over his unbuttoned collar. “That’s gotta hurt,” she remarked.
“What are you talking about?” Jake asked.
“Looks like you got sunburned a bit, Jake,” Tabby explained, pointing at the dark pink patch on his chest.
“It’s no big deal. It’ll go away in a few days.” Jake looked down at the dark pink patch and lifted up his shirt collar so he could see down his shirt. He gasped slightly when he saw the distinct shape of a starfish on his chest. “Oh, no!” Jake whispered worriedly.
“What’s wrong, Jake?” Tabby asked curiously.
“N-nothing’s wrong, Tabby,” Jake stuttered quickly as he got up from the table. “We should leave now, anyway.”
“What for?” Tabby asked.
“Well, didn’t you say that you needed to go somewhere today?” Jake asked.
“Oh, that’s right! I almost forgot!” Tabby exclaimed as she stood up. The two kats threw away their empty cans and Jake carried the still unopened can of milk he saved for Chance as they headed down the boardwalk back to where they had left their friend.
“Come on, Chance! Let’s roll!” Jake shouted.
“Sorry, ladies, but I have to go now,” Chance apologized to the group of she-kats before he joined Jake and Tabby on the boardwalk.
“Do we have to go now? I was this close to getting some phone numbers!” Chance complained as the three kats headed down the boardwalk toward the parking lot.
“We have to for a couple of reasons, Chance. First of all, we may have the day off from work, but we don’t get days off from being the Swat Kats,” Jake pointed out.
“And what’s the other reason?” Chance asked.
“I need you guys to drop me off at Enforcer Headquarters,” Tabby announced.
“Enforcer Headquarters?” Chance repeated. “Why do you have to go there?”
“I need to get some papers there so I can pick up my belongings from Impoundment,” Tabby explained.
“Chance, don’t you remember the procedure from our old Enforcer days?” Jake asked. “Whenever a criminal is arrested, the Enforcers hold all their belongings at the Impoundment. That is, if they’re serving a short prison sentence. If they’re serving a nine-life sentence or are given the death penalty, their possessions are put up for auction to raise money for the Enforcers.”
“Yeah, that’s right,” Chance agreed.
“So, they should still have all my stuff, right?” Tabby asked.
“They should, unless you earned any of your possessions illegally, then the Enforcers have the right to take that away from you and try to return it to the rightful owners,” Jake explained.
“Then I got nothing to worry about,” Tabby said. “I never kept anything I stole.”
“So, what do you have locked up in Impoundment, Tabby?” Chance asked curiously.
“All of my clothes and some other things from back home,” Tabby revealed.
“Then we should get going,” Jake announced as they reached the tow truck.
Chance got into the driver’s seat, and Tabby took the middle seat.
Jake was about to get in the truck when he spotted a red dot out in the ocean.
“It can’t be her, can it?” Jake thought to himself as he stared out at the ocean.
“Jake, are you getting in or what?” Chance asked in an annoyed tone.
“Yeah, I’m coming,” Jake muttered out loud as he got in the tow truck and closed the door behind him…
“Hey, Jake, any idea when Tabby’s coming back?” Chance asked curiously.
“I don’t know. She didn’t say how long it would take,” Jake replied.
The two tomkats were sitting on the couch, with Chance flipping through the channels with the remote control.
“Can’t you find something to watch, Chance?” Jake complained.
“How can I? There’s nothing good on,” Chance remarked as he continued his channel surfing. He finally stopped at a channel that was playing a familiar movie of a giant brown beetle attacking a city.
“Hey! Hardshell’s on!” Chance exclaimed as he put the remote on the table.
Jake groaned a bit as he recalled the time he and Chance battled a giant Ci-Kat-A as the Swat Kats. He was glad that Chance overcame his fear of bugs as a result of that mission.
“Did Tabby ever say that she needed us to pick her up?” Chance asked curiously.
“No, she said that she would get back to the salvage yard on her own,” Jake replied. “Why are you so concerned about Tabby all of a sudden?”
“I was just asking, buddy! Geez!” Chance retorted.
“Don’t worry, Chance. Tabby probably has a car locked up in Impoundment,” Jake explained.
“Just one problem, Jake. We don’t exactly have room in here for a car with all the customers we get,” Chance reminded him.
Just then, the two tomkats were a bit startled to hear the roar of a motorcycle engine coming from the salvage yard.
“Maybe that’s Tabby now,” Jake muttered out loud as he and Chance got up and approached the garage door.
When Jake and Chance entered the salvage yard, Tabby was just taking off her black motorcycle helmet. She was sitting on a sleek black street motorcycle with a thin silver zigzag stripe running along either side, complete with a matching sidecar. Right below the motorcycle’s headlight was a chrome emblem of a panther’s head.
“Hey, guys!” Tabby greeted as she turned off the engine, kicked out the kickstand, and got off of her motorcycle.
“Hey, Tabby. Nice bike ya’ got there,” Chance commented.
“Incredible!” Jake exclaimed as he stared at the motorcycle in awe. “The Panther XZ-2000!”
“You know about this bike, Jake?” Chance asked. “I’ve never seen one of these before.”
“Are you kidding? The Panther XZ-2000 is one of the best motorcycles around, next to the Harley Davidson, of course,” Jake explained. “How did you get a Panther, Tabby? From what I heard, they only manufactured about three thousand of this particular motorcycle.”
“Well, I lucked out. My dad got it for me for my eighteenth birthday,” Tabby admitted. “He practically got it straight off of the assembly line!”
“Oh, that’s right. The Panther XZ-2000 was originally assembled and manufactured in Australia,” Jake muttered out loud.
“Well, since you guys are out here, you can help me carry my stuff to my room,” Tabby announced.
“Okay, what do you want us to carry?” Chance asked.
“Well, you can take this box here,” Tabby instructed, pointing at a large box that was secured to the back seat of her motorcycle by some rope. As Chance started to untie the rope, Jake and Tabby walked over to the other side of the motorcycle, where the sidecar was attached.
“Can you take one of these bags for me, Jake?” Tabby asked, indicating a couple of large black garbage bags sitting in the sidecar.
“Sure thing, Tabby,” Jake replied as he picked up one of the bags, while Tabby grabbed the other one. “What do you have in these bags anyway?”
“All of my clothes,” Tabby replied as she and Jake entered the garage, followed by Chance, who was carrying the box. “I’m gonna have to sort through them all and see what still fits me. Any clothes that doesn’t fit anymore, I’ll donate to Goodwill.”
Jake and Tabby entered Tabby’s bedroom and placed the two bags on the bed.
“What do you want me to do with this, Tabby?” Chance asked as he walked into Tabby’s room with the heavy cardboard box.
“Just put it on the floor for now, Chance, but be careful with it,” Tabby warned him.
Chance nodded as he bent down and carefully placed the box on the bedroom floor. As soon as Chance stood up, Tabby knelt down beside the box and opened it up. She pulled out three trophies that were resting on top.
“What are those for?” Jake asked curiously.
“I was on the track team back in high school, and these are first place trophies I won in the championships three years in a row,” Tabby stated proudly as she set the trophies on top of her dresser.
“Very impressive,” Jake commented.
“Thanks, Jake,” Tabby replied.
“That explains why you were so fast on the obstacle course,” Chance muttered out loud. He looked in the open box and noticed an old heavy book near the bottom of the box. Chance carefully pushed aside some wrapped items and lifted the thick age-worn book out of the box. “‘Enchanted World?’ ” Chance read off of the cover. “Hey, Tabby? Aren’t you a little old to be reading fairy tales?” he asked teasingly as he held up the book. “That stuff is for kids!”
“Knock it off, Chance!” Tabby retorted as she snatched the book away from Chance. “This book means a lot to me. It was a gift from my grandmother. My mother would read me bedtime stories from this book when I was a kitten, and when I first learned how to read, this was the very first book I read.”
“Sorry, Tabby. I didn’t know,” Chance apologized. “So, what kind of stuff is in there, anyway?” Jake asked curiously.
“Well, it’s not your typical book of fairy tale stories, that’s for sure,” Tabby explained as she started to slowly flip through the book. “It has a variety of tales about all these different mystical creatures, and unlike most fairy tales that probably everyone’s familiar with, not all of these have a happy ending.”
“Well, it’s not like those creatures ever really existed,” Chance remarked.
“It could be possible, Chance,” Tabby told him. “I’ll bet that until you two fought the Pastmaster for the first time, you didn’t believe that magic and sorcery really existed, did ya?”
“No, I guess not,” Chance muttered out loud.
“And from fighting the Pastmaster, we also found out that dragons, Cyclopes, and gargoyles existed a long time ago,” Jake added. He glanced over at the page Tabby had her book open to and his eyes widened in shock. Jake recognized the picture of the merkat with the long fiery red hair and golden yellow cat’s eyes.
“Whoa-ho! Who is that?” Chance asked, pointing at the picture of the merkat.
“That’s a merkat,” Tabby replied. “This particular one’s called Undine.”
“She’s kinda cute,” Chance said.
“Believe me, if merkats were real, you wouldn’t want to fall for this one!” Tabby remarked.
“And why not?” Chance asked curiously.
“Because Undine’s a sea witch, that’s why,” Tabby replied.
“A sea witch?” Jake repeated.
“Uh-huh. Undine practiced black magic, and because of that, she was forced to live a life of solitude,” Tabby revealed.
“According to this, merkats live in a huge society, kinda like we do, and the biggest penalty for committing a crime is to banish a merkat from the entire society.”
“And how is that such a big deal?” Chance asked.
“Well, merkats are kinda immortal,” Tabby explained. “A merkat can live for thousands of years and never age a day. Can you imagine living by yourself for thousands of years, without any interaction with someone from your own kind?”
“No way I could pull that off,” Chance remarked.
“Well, according to this, when Undine was banished from the merkat society, she used her black magic to her advantage by luring land kats to the water and transforming them into sea creatures,” Tabby continued. “That way, Undine was never truly alone.”
“How does she do that?” Jake asked curiously. “How does this Undine lure land kats to the water?”
“Well, Undine would get their attention somehow, like asking them for a favor, or purposely beaching herself so a land kat would eventually find her and carry her back to the ocean,” Tabby explained. “In exchange for carrying her back to the ocean or giving in to her request, Undine would grant them wishes. Of course, no kat can turn down this rare opportunity, so once they make the wishes, they become magically linked to Undine. She leaves her mark on the land kats before she returns to her underwater home. Undine bides her time for nine years, and then she comes back to the exact place where she met them. Because of Undine’s dark influence, the land kats are magically drawn back to the ocean and join her in her watery world, never to be seen again.”
“Why are you so interested in this merkat story, Jake?” Chance asked curiously as Tabby closed her book.
“Umm…no reason. It’s just that the story sounded kinda familiar,” Jake lied. “I think my mom used to tell my sister something like that for a bedtime story.” Suddenly, Jake bent over halfway, breathing in heavily and holding his chest in pain.
“Jake? What’s going on, buddy?” Chance asked.
“Are you okay?” Tabby asked with concern as she knelt down next to him.
“I’m just fine,” Jake managed to get out. “It’s just a little heartburn, that’s all.”
“I’ll bet it’s from those three slices of tuna pizza with extra mongo peppers that you ate for lunch,” Chance remarked as Jake slowly stood up.
“Yeah, that’s probably what it was,” Jake replied.
“Maybe you should try drinking some cold milk, Jake,” Tabby suggested. “That might help with the heartburn.”
“I’ll do that. Thanks, Tabby,” Jake replied as he left Tabby’s room and slowly headed down the hall to the kitchen.
After making sure that neither Chance nor Tabby followed him, Jake sat down at the kitchen table and unzipped his coveralls halfway down his chest. When he opened up the flaps, Jake’s worst fear came true when he saw the pink glow in the shape of a starfish radiating through his T-shirt.
“Oh, no! What am I going to do?” he asked himself. “There’s gotta be some way to fight this. I have to find a way!”
Suddenly, Jake felt another sharp pain in his chest and he found himself clutching at the very spot where the glowing starfish was…
Meanwhile, somewhere deep in the ocean, Undine was swimming along with the powerful currents, while carrying a large bag woven from fine green seaweed. Swimming beside the merkat was an old burgundy octopus, which was struggling a bit with the strong ocean currents. ”
Come on now, slowpoke. We’re almost home,” Undine told the octopus as she headed toward a large patch of bright pink coral. She and her pet octopus slipped through a small hole concealed within the coral and eventually ended up in a large underwater cave. The walls of the cave were crowded with small jars containing strange liquids, underwater plants, and even parts of different sea creatures. In the center of the cave was a rusted black cauldron and a crystal ball on a tarnished silver stand.
“Now, let’s see,” Undine muttered to herself as she rummaged through her bag. She pulled out an antique water-worn scroll from her bag, carefully unrolled it, and started to read over the ancient text. “It took me hundreds of years to find this scroll, but it was well worth it,” she murmured as she continued to read the scroll, with her pet octopus looking over her shoulder. “Who would have thought that this ancient scroll would be found buried underneath the rubble of the once proud city of Atlantis?”
The octopus made a strange growling noise, as though he were trying to talk to the merkat.
“So, you want to know what this is, do you?” Undine asked.
The burgundy octopus slowly nodded his head.
“This is an old spell that was first used by the citizens of Atlantis,” Undine explained as she carefully rolled up the scroll. “According to legend, when Atlantis sunk into the ocean, the land kats living there used this spell on themselves so they wouldn’t die, but the catch was that they would forever bear the tails of fish and never be able to leave the ocean. The citizens of Atlantis were believed to be the first merkats that ever existed.”
Undine quickly swam over to the crystal ball, still carrying the rolled up scroll, followed closely by her pet octopus. She held up her starfish charm, which started to radiate a pink light.
Instantly, the crystal ball projected an image of a land kat dressed in mechanic coveralls, a red baseball cap, and boots. He was clutching his chest in pain as a pink glow radiated from his chest in the shape of a starfish.
“In all the years I have done this, I had never met such a selfless kat before. Jake Clawson is indeed the one I have been searching for, the one who will spend the rest of his life with me, whether he wants to or not.”
The merkat looked down at the scroll in her paw and a small smirk appeared on her face.
“With this spell, Jake Clawson will become a merkat, just like me.”
The octopus seemed to purr as he rested one of his slimy tentacles on Undine’s shoulder.
“Believe me, if I had found this spell sooner, I would have converted you into a merkat instead of an octopus, Adam,” Undine told the octopus. “By the way, Adam, were you aware that a normal octopus only lives for three years?”
The octopus gasped when he heard this unexpected news.
“Lucky for you, I was able to extend your life to thirty years using my powers,” Undine revealed. “Don’t worry, Adam. I’ll keep you on the shelf with the others.” The octopus let out a frightened little squeal as he turned around and looked at the several jars stuffed with tentacles and eyeballs of other ocean animals, knowing that he would soon be joining them.
Undine focused her attention back on the image of Jake in her crystal ball, who was still clutching his chest in pain. “You can fight it all you want, Jake Clawson, but before this day ends, you will be mine,” Undine muttered sinisterly. The octopus growled a little bit. “You’re right, Adam. Since Jake is so different from the other land kats I met, including you, it may be more of a challenge drawing him back to the water,” Undine muttered thoughtfully. “In that case, I better put my backup plan into action.”
The merkat swam over to the shelves and looked over the several jars until she picked one with a dark blue liquid. “I might have a use for you after all, Adam,” Undine announced as she brought the jar over to her pet octopus and poured some of the dark blue liquid on him…
“Any luck yet?” Tabby asked when she saw Chance enter the kitchen. The burly tomkat shook his head no as he sat down at the kitchen table.
“I tried, but Jake refuses to come out of his room,” Chance said.
“Perhaps he’s still having heartburn from that pizza,” Tabby suggested.
“I doubt it, Tabby. If Jake was still feeling sick, he would be in the bathroom instead of his bedroom,” Chance told her. “Something’s bothering him, something that he doesn’t want to talk about.”
Just then, the Klaxon went off. “I’ll get it, Chance. Why don’t you give it another try with Jake?” Tabby suggested as she and Chance got up from the table.
“All right,” Chance reluctantly agreed. As Tabby headed for the concealed trap door, Chance walked down the hallway until he reached a closed door that was right across the hall from Tabby’s bedroom. “Come on, buddy! Open up!” he shouted as he rapped his knuckles against the door.
“Leave me alone, Chance!” Jake shouted.
“What’s wrong, Jake?” Chance asked. “This is your best bud talking here. You know you can tell me anything.”
“I can’t tell you about this, Chance. It’s just too bizarre,” Jake said.
Chance let out a frustrated growl as he shook his head in disappointment. Just then, he looked up and noticed that Tabby was quickly walking towards him.
“What’s going on, Tabby?” he asked.
“Callie said that a cruise ship is being attacked outside of MegaKat Bay,” Tabby explained.
“Did Callie say what was attacking the cruise ship?” Chance asked.
“She said it was some sort of giant sea creature with huge tentacles,” Tabby replied.
“Giant sea creature? Aw, crud! What have I gotten myself into?” Jake muttered out loud.
“What are you talking about, Jake?” Tabby asked.
“Forget that! Let’s get going! We got a job to do!” Chance shouted.
“Chance, Tabby, do you think you can handle this one on your own?” Jake asked.
Both Chance and Tabby gasped out of surprise to Jake’s question.
“Jake, since when do you back out of a Swat Kat mission?” Chance asked suspiciously.
“I have my reasons, Chance. Can’t we just leave it at that?” Jake pleaded.
“Come on, Jake!” Tabby pleaded. “How are we suppose to help you if you won’t even tell us what’s wrong?”
Jake let out a deep sigh before replying, “All right. I’ll show you.” He slowly stood up and unlocked his bedroom door. When Jake finally opened the door, Chance and Tabby gasped loudly out of shock. They could clearly see a pink light radiating from Jake’s chest in the shape of a starfish. “I told you it was bad,” Jake muttered out loud.
“What the heck happened to you?” Chance exclaimed.
“Well, remember that story Tabby told us about that merkat, Undine?” Jake asked.
Chance nodded his head yes.
“Well, she’s for real, all right, and here’s the proof!” Jake remarked as he pointed at the glowing starfish shape on his chest.
“So that’s how she leaves her mark,” Tabby muttered thoughtfully. “Undine used her starfish charm on you.”
“You got that right, Tabby,” Jake said as he slumped down to the floor.
“Jake, do you remember what time of day it was when you ran into Undine nine years ago?” Tabby asked curiously.
“It was around dawn. I was at the beach doing some training since, at that time, Chance and I were going to try out for the Enforcers a couple of weeks from then. Why?”
“There’s actually a little drawback to Undine’s spell: it only lasts for twenty-four hours.”
“It does?” Jake asked as he stood up.
“Yeah. If you can just hang in there until dawn, then Undine can’t go after you ever again,” Tabby replied. “Then again, as far as I know, no one has ever broken Undine’s spell before.”
Jake groaned out of frustration as he slumped back down to the floor. “That attack must be a trap to get me out to the ocean, so Undine can capture me. She does know that I was an Enforcer.”
“How does she know about that, buddy?” Chance asked curiously.
“Well, my first wish was that we would both make it into the Enforcers, Chance,” Jake revealed.
“So, what? Undine probably thinks you’re still an Enforcer, so she’ll go after the Enforcer choppers.”
“Probably not,” Jake muttered out loud.
“What do you mean?” Tabby asked.
“Another wish I made was that Chance and I would be partners, no matter what happened to us,” Jake reluctantly answered. “So I think it’s safe to say that Undine knows I’m a Swat Kat, Chance.”
“From what I read about her, Undine normally grants three wishes. What was that third wish you made?” Tabby asked curiously.
“I…I don’t remember,” Jake lied.
“That’s not important now! What’s important is that we get our tails in gear and help those kats!” Chance interrupted. “Are you in or out, Jake?”
“Sorry, but I’m out,” Jake said reluctantly.
“I guess we can’t blame you for that,” Tabby replied.
“Come on, Tabby. Let’s get going,” Chance announced.
“All right,” Tabby reluctantly agreed as she followed Chance into the hangar, leaving Jake alone in the garage…
“Kat? Hey, Kat!” T-Bone shouted loudly, snapping Kat back to reality.
“What is it, T-Bone?” Kat asked.
“How much further is that cruise ship?” T-Bone asked.
Kat looked at the radar screen in front of her and focused on the flashing red dot on the far left. “It’s about four miles northwest, T-Bone,” she reported.
“Hang on!” T-Bone shouted as he pulled back the throttle, which caused the black submarine to propel forward with incredible speed. The two Swat Kats traveled in complete silence for a few minutes.
“You’re worried about him, aren’t you?” T-Bone asked curiously.
“Of course, I am,” Kat revealed. “Can ya blame me?”
“Guess not,” T-Bone admitted. “I’ll admit I’m worried about Jake, too. That Undine sure shook him up.”
“Do you think Jake’s right about Undine being behind all this?” Kat asked.
“Looks like we’ll soon find out for ourselves,” T-Bone remarked.
“Check out the periscope, Kat. We should be about half a mile away.”
“Gotcha, T-Bone,” Kat replied as she pressed a blue button on the panel, which caused the periscope to rise above the surface of the water. She gasped when she saw a giant burgundy octopus with all of its long tentacles wrapped around the hull of a luxury cruise ship on the radar screen. A dozen Enforcer choppers flying overhead in the night sky were firing their ammunition at the octopus, but none of their bullets could penetrate the creature’s thick slimy skin.
“So, what’s going on up there, Kat?” T-Bone asked.
“This huge octopus is attacking the ship, and the Enforcers aren’t having any luck taking that thing down!” Kat remarked.
“Time to kick some tail!” T-Bone shouted as he pulled back a lever. Instantly, the submarine quickly rose up to the surface.
“Weapon systems are up and running,” Kat announced as she pressed a red button on her control panel, which caused a pair of small blue missile launchers to rise from the sides of the black submarine. Instantly, several missiles were fired from the submarine’s missile launchers. The giant octopus roared loudly in pain as the missiles struck him all over his body and tentacles, causing him to lose his grip on the cruise ship.
“Way to go, Kat!” T-Bone admitted, giving her the thumbs up. Before Kat could say anything, the submarine was struck by something heavy, causing it to shake violently. “What’s going on?” she shouted as she hung onto her seat. T-Bone looked through the viewing window and gasped when he saw a massive burgundy tentacle covering the glass.
“Looks like that octopus decided to take his aggression out on us!” T-Bone remarked.
“What are we gonna do, T-Bone? If we don’t stop that thing, it’s gonna tear this sub apart!” Kat shouted.
“I got an idea. Now, where is that thing?” T-Bone muttered out loud as he quickly looked over the selection of buttons in front of him.
“What are you looking for?” Kat asked curiously.
“Razor recently installed this new system in the sub,” T-Bone explained. “It’s kinda like a shield made out of electricity. Let’s just say that once I activate it, that ugly octopus will get the shock of its life!”
“Well, what are you waiting for?”
“Ah-ha! Found it!” T-Bone announced as he flipped a small red switch to his left. The two Swat Kats could hear a loud buzzing sound as a layer of electricity surged around the submarine. The giant octopus let out a deep painful roar as he let go of the submarine and sank down into the dark ocean water below them.
“Is it over?” Kat asked curiously.
“Looks like it,” T-Bone muttered out loud as he looked through the viewing window for any signs of the giant octopus.
“So, what should we do now?”
“Let’s go back up to the surface and see if anyone on that cruise ship needs our help,” T-Bone replied as he pulled back the lever again. As soon as the submarine came back up to the surface, Kat unsnapped her safety harness and headed for the hatch.
While Kat was opening the hatch, T-Bone undid his safety harness as well. He was about to stand up when he saw a flash of red speed past the window, followed by a huge patch of slimy burgundy skin.
“No, Kat! Wait!” T-Bone tried to warn Kat, who had already climbed on top of the submarine.
T-Bone soon realized that his warning came too late when he heard Kat’s terrified scream…
Meanwhile, back at the garage, Jake was watching the live KatsEye News broadcast in the living room.
“It appears that the Swat Kats have defeated the giant octopus that had mysteriously attacked the cruise ship below us,” Ann Gora reported, who was viewing the incident, along with her news crew, inside the KatsEye News helicopter. “The Swat Kats are surfacing again, perhaps to help out the victims…wait a minute! Johnny, get a shot of that!” Ann directed the camera operator.
Jake gasped loudly out of shock when the camera revealed that not only was the giant octopus still alive, but he also had Kat wrapped tightly in one of his tentacles.
“Crud! This is all my fault!” Jake muttered out loud as he buried his face in his paws. He sat on the couch for a few moments before he stood up and moved his paws away from his face. “That’s it! This has gone too far!” he muttered angrily as he ran to the trap door leading to the hangar. “Undine will obviously do anything to get to me, even if it means hurting my friends.” He reached the hangar. “I couldn’t live with myself knowing that T-Bone and Kat were risking their lives for me, while I’m cowering here like a Scaredy Kat! It’s time I stop acting like a coward and take action, like I should have done from the start!”
Sheer determination was burning in Jake’s dark eyes as he opened his locker and pulled out his Swat Kat gear…
“Hang on, Kat!” T-Bone shouted as he carefully aimed his Glovatrix at the giant octopus that held Kat prisoner. “If I can just nail that ugly thing in the eye, it’ll have to let go of Kat. Here goes nothing!”
T-Bone fired a red and blue missile from his Glovatrix. Before the missile could reach the octopus’s eye, the octopus swung one of his free tentacles at the missile. The octopus managed to knock the missile a hundred feet up in the air before it exploded into a small ball of fire and smoke.
“Aw, crud!” T-Bone exclaimed.
“Please hurry, T-Bone!” Kat pleaded as she felt herself slowly slipping into unconsciousness.
“Whatever you do, Adam, don’t let her go!” Undine instructed her pet octopus, who was watching from behind the massive sea creature.
Just as Kat was about to pass out, a match-head missile came out of nowhere and struck the giant octopus in the tentacle that was holding her. The octopus thrashed his tentacle around in pain, causing him to lose his grip on Kat. The unconscious Swat Kat plummeted to the deep ocean water below, hitting it with a loud splash. The cold salt water slowly brought Kat back to consciousness as she sank deeper in the water. Suddenly, Kat felt a paw grab her by the arm and quickly pull her back to the surface. She took in a deep gasp of air as someone pulled her on board of what felt like a jet ski.
“Thanks a lot, T-Bone,” Kat eventually got out.
“Sorry, Kat, but you’re talking to the wrong Swat Kat,” a familiar voice revealed.
Kat quickly turned her head around and looked up at her rescuer.
“Razor? What are you doing here?” Kat gasped out of shock.
“Isn’t it obvious?” Razor asked as he helped Kat stand up. “I saw what was happening on KatsEye News. I couldn’t just sit there and do nothing!”
“But what about Undine?” Kat asked. “If she knows that you’re here, she’s gonna be after your tail!”
“That’s a risk I’m willing to take!” Razor muttered angrily.
“Good thing, cuz here she comes now!” Kat shouted.
Razor turned his head around and gasped when he saw the giant burgundy octopus swimming rapidly towards them, with Undine riding on one of his tentacles.
“Hang on, Kat!” Razor shouted as he revved up the engine.
Kat quickly wrapped her arms around Razor’s waist before the jet ski sped away from the advancing octopus.
“Don’t let them escape, Adam!” Undine ordered.
The giant octopus nodded as he swam after the speeding jet ski and its two passengers.
“That thing is gaining on us, Razor!” Kat shouted.
“Going to maximum thrusters, now!” Razor announced as he pulled back the throttle.
Instantly, the jet ski’s engine let out a powerful roar as it sped forward with increasing speed.
“Hold on, you guys! I’ll give you cover fire!” T-Bone shouted from the jet ski’s radio as he chased after the octopus in the submarine.
“Better hurry, buddy!” Razor shouted when he saw that the octopus was slowly catching up with him and Kat.
“Firing missiles, now!” T-Bone shouted as he pressed a couple of buttons on the panel in front of him.
The submarine’s missile launchers fired several missiles at the giant octopus, which struck him in the back.
“Let’s take care of this pest first, Adam,” Undine told her pet octopus. The giant octopus growled in agreement as he turned around to face the submarine that attacked him.
“Aw, crud!” T-Bone exclaimed when he saw the octopus lift up one of his massive tentacles. Before T-Bone could do anything, the giant octopus slammed his tentacle down on top of the submarine, sinking it into the ocean with a colossal splash.
“T-BONE!” Razor shouted as the jet ski rocked violently from the huge waves created by the octopus’ attack on the submarine.
“You don’t think he’s…?” Kat started to ask.
“I sure hope not,” Razor muttered out loud as he turned on the jet ski’s radio. “T-Bone, come in! If you can hear me, please let me know that you’re okay!”
Unfortunately, all Razor and Kat heard from the radio was static.
“That doesn’t necessarily mean that T-Bone’s gone for good, Razor,” Kat tried to convince Razor. “Maybe that blow to the submarine knocked out the radio or something.”
“I hope you’re right, Kat,” Razor muttered a bit worriedly.
“Face it, you two! Your friend’s finished!” Undine shouted. Razor and Kat turned around and gasped when they saw the merkat, who was still sitting on one of her pet octopus’ tentacles. “I’ll admit, I’ve never seen a land kat put up such a struggle against my powers before, Jake Clawson. Or is it Razor now?”
Undine asked smugly before she dove into the water and resurfaced a few yards away from the jet ski.
Razor narrowed his eyes and glared angrily at the merkat. “You’re gonna pay for this, Undine!” he shouted.
“And what are you going to do about it?” Undine asked sarcastically. “You can’t destroy me, Razor! You’re only delaying the inevitable! You have no choice now but to come with me!”
“I don’t think so, you ugly barracuda!” Kat shouted boldly.
“Kat, what are you doing?” Razor asked.
“There’s no way I’m letting you lay one slimy claw on Razor, Undine! You’ll have to kill me first!” Kat continued.
“If that’s what you wish, you foolish girl, it can be arranged!” Undine muttered sinisterly as she lifted her starfish charm above her head, which started to glow. Suddenly, four long pieces of green seaweed shot out from the water around the jet ski. One piece bound tightly around Kat’s waist, two more pieces of seaweed wrapped around her wrists, and the fourth piece of seaweed wrapped itself tightly around Kat’s neck.
“Hold on, Kat!” Razor shouted as he tried to pull off the seaweed wrapped tightly around Kat’s waist.
“I don’t think so, Razor!” Undine proclaimed as more long pieces of green seaweed popped out of the water and wrapped themselves around Razor’s arms and legs.
“KAT!” Razor shouted as he helplessly watched the female Swat Kat being pulled underwater by the seaweed. Pure hatred was burning in Razor’s eyes as he stared angrily at Undine.
“If only you had given yourself up sooner, Razor. Then maybe your friends wouldn’t have end up being shark food!” Undine admitted with a sinister laugh. She lifted her starfish charm, which caused the seaweed that was restraining Razor to lift him off of the jet ski and pull him closer to the merkat. Razor struggled to get out of the seaweed’s grip, but the seaweed had too tight of a grip on him.
“I don’t see why you bother to fight me even now, Razor,” Undine remarked. “In case you haven’t noticed, you lost everything. Now it’s time for you to spend the rest of your nine lives with me!”
The merkat chuckled sinisterly as she lifted her starfish charm high in the air, which radiated a pink glow. Razor yowled loudly out of pain as the starfish-shaped mark on his chest started to react with Undine’s charm.
Suddenly, both Undine and Razor were startled to hear a large cluster of bubbles appear at the surface of the water a few hundred feet away from them, as though something was about to come to the surface.
“What now?” Undine muttered angrily as she turned her head to see what was going on. Her golden yellow cat’s eyes widened out of shock when she recognized the black submarine rising above the surface of the ocean.
“It’s T-Bone!” Razor exclaimed with a look of relief on his face.
“Looks like one of your friends managed to survive, Razor…but not for long! Get him!” Undine ordered her pet octopus.
The giant burgundy octopus growled in agreement as he swam over to the submarine. The submarine fired several missiles at the advancing octopus, causing him to roar loudly out of pain.
“Don’t give up, Adam!” Undine encouraged the giant octopus.
With her back turned, Undine never noticed a smaller patch of bubbles that appeared next to the jet ski.
Razor turned his head and gasped slightly when he saw Kat come up to the surface, wearing her oxygen mask. Kat silently warned Razor to be quiet as she carefully aimed her Glovatrix and fired four Mini-Turbo Blades at the seaweed that was holding Razor high up in the air. The Mini-Turbo Blades cut through the seaweed, causing Razor to hit the water below with a loud splash.
“What was that?” Undine murmured when she heard the loud splash from behind her. When she turned around, Undine gasped loudly when she saw both Razor and Kat in the water next to the jet ski.
“Her again!” Undine muttered angrily as she narrowed her eyes at Kat, who was helping Razor get his oxygen mask on. “How many lives do these Swat Kats have? No matter. She won’t live this time!” Undine held both of her paws up in the air and a massive ball of electricity mysteriously appeared in her paws.
“Razor, I think Undine is a little ticked off at us!” Kat shouted.
Razor looked up and gasped loudly when he saw Undine throw the ball of electricity at them. “Dive!” Razor shouted as he and Kat dove underwater, barely avoiding the ball of electricity. It ended up hitting the jet ski instead, causing it to explode into a huge fireball.
“NO!” Undine shouted. She looked back at her pet octopus, who was still fighting off the submarine. “Looks like I’ll have to take care of them myself!” Undine muttered to herself as she jumped high in the air and dove underwater. Once underwater, the merkat could clearly see the two Swat Kats swimming towards the submarine.
Razor turned his head and gasped when he saw the furious merkat swimming after them. “We got company!” Razor warned Kat.
“I’ll take care of her, Razor,” Kat announced as she turned around and fired an octopus missile at the incoming merkat.
Undine gasped as the metal tentacles of the octopus missile clasped tightly around her waist and propelled her into the opposite direction.
“I’ll get you, Razor, if it’s the last thing I ever do!” Undine shouted angrily.
“We better get going before she makes good on her threat,” Kat told Razor.
“Roger that. Let’s go!” Razor agreed as they continued swimming towards the submarine.
Unknown to Razor and Kat, Undine managed to break free from the octopus missile and was once again swimming after them.
Razor and Kat soon surfaced a few yards away from the submarine.
“T-Bone needs our help, Razor!” Kat shouted as she pointed at the giant octopus, who had his tentacles wrapped tightly around the submarine.
“This oughta pry that scum snake off!” Razor announced as he carefully aimed his Glovatrix at the giant octopus’ eye. “Firing missile…now!”
A red and blue missile flew from Razor’s Glovatrix and nailed the octopus right in the eye. The giant burgundy octopus roared loudly out of pain as he violently thrashed around in the water, trying desperately to get the missile out of his eye with his flailing tentacles.
Just then, Undine surfaced a few feet away from Razor and Kat.
“Poor Adam!” Undine gasped loudly when she saw her pet octopus thrashing around in pain. “What have those Swat Kats done to you?” Undine turned around and glared at Razor and Kat with anger burning in her eyes.
“Uh-oh!” Razor gasped loudly as a tall column of water magically rose from the ocean and lifted Undine up in the air.
“Crud! And I thought she was mad before!” Kat remarked.
“Now all three of you will perish!” Undine shouted angrily.
“Great! We’re gonna be done in by Miss Chicken of the Sea!” Kat retorted sarcastically.
“Now’s not a time to be making jokes, Kat!” Razor warned her.
“Prepare to die!” Undine shouted angrily as she formed another ball of electricity in her paw.
Before she could throw the massive ball of electricity at the Swat Kats, Undine suddenly became incased in a strange white glow, along with her giant pet octopus.
“No! It can’t be!” Undine gasped loudly as she looked up at the slowly rising sun. The merkat let out a loud terrible scream as the light completely engulfed her and her pet octopus, causing the two to completely disappear without a trace.
“What the heck just happened here?” Razor asked uncertainly as he and Kat took off their oxygen masks.
Kat turned around and noticed the sun coming up. “Look, Razor, it’s dawn now,” she explained, pointing at the sun barely peeking up over the ocean. “Undine ran out of time. Since her spell’s been broken, she can’t go after you ever again, or any other kat for that matter.”
“That’s great,” Razor admitted as a look of relief spread over his face.
“You two need a lift?” T-Bone asked.
Razor and Kat looked up and saw T-Bone standing on top of the submarine.
“That’s a big affirmative, bud,” Razor remarked as he climbed up some metal steps on the side of the submarine, followed by Kat. “What happened to you, T-Bone? For a minute there, I thought you were a goner.”
“You can’t take out old T-Bone that easily!” T-Bone remarked. “I just pulled a fast one on that slimy squid, made him think that he finished me off. I would have called you guys and let you know I was okay, but thanks to that blow to the sub, the radio was busted.”
“We kinda figured something like that happened,” Kat said. “We tried calling you before, but all we got was static.”
“Looks like you two took care of Undine for good,” T-Bone remarked.
“It was actually the other way around, T-Bone. Undine done herself in,” Kat replied. “She was so determined on capturing Razor that she simply lost track of time.”
“I don’t know about you guys, but I’m ready to head home,” Razor announced.
“You got it, buddy!” T-Bone replied as he, Razor, and Kat climbed into the submarine…
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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.