~Forward~~ Okay, okay, okay. Last time I told y’all something in a forward it didn’t quite come across in the writing. But I’m sure it will this time.
Descent into oblivion. SEVERE depression is covered here. I don’t know, maybe DJ will have to rate it R or something.
I’m a Leo and Leo’s are notorious for having major mood swings. From just the happiest you could possibly be, to severely depressed in the span of one day. Trust me. Those are basically the only two emotions I have. *gryn*
I waited until one of my low periods to start this (but it’s not as bad as I can get) and whenever I had a few depressed minutes to add to it (if I actually forced myself into depression it would not only be counter productive, it would scare people ;0).
Anyway…if you experience some of the symptoms or know someone that does, get help. At least talk to someone. PLEASE! And if you’re ever low, e-mail me. I won’t be able to promise sunshine and rainbows after an e-mail from me, but hey…
Fly high and land however you can, Chella
Two guards brought a kat into his cell, chained, shackled and otherwise forced to move at something less than a shuffle. The chubby kat looked up, having nothing else to do other than to check out his new cell-mate.
Leo Vernes, Katareena’s ex-agent, had been in prison for about three months and had seen many cell-mates come and go; going being the operative word. Many prisoners on their way out spent their last days or weeks sharing the cell with Leo. This new one was a tall, buff, grey kat, his eyes black and almost lazy.
A guard pushed the prisoner to the cot while the other one covered his partner as he removed the bonds. The kat stood and smiled. “Vernes, this is your new friend, Kit Carpenter. He’s leavin’ in three days. You two play nice, okay?” The guards chuckled and left, slamming the heavy door shut and clomping down the hall.
The kat turned his black eyes towards Vernes and smiled. “I’ve heard of you. You almost accidentally took down your gold mine. Very amateurish, no wonder you got caught.”
Vernes harumphed. It wasn’t something he hadn’t heard from a hundred other inmates, but for some reason, this dig really got under his fur. “Yeah….well….”
The kat continued. “And if you had hurt her, I would have come after you myself.”
The ex-agent’s interest perked. “Why?”
Kit grinned and laid back on his cot, throwing his arms casually behind his head in a pillow. “Katareena Perkins is the love of my life…after gold, that is.”
“Really…?” Leo mumbled, the conniving gears in his head beginning to slowly turn, rusty after not being used for so long. He too put his head down on the cot and was silent.
Leo still retained his skills, he could weasel his way into your trust quicker than many. Before Kit Carpenter left the cell for the last time, Vernes had convinced him to do some work for him.
One thing Leo couldn’t stand was betrayal, even if he had done the betraying first. Katareena Perkins would learn the hard way not to cross him.
Klawz dropped the tapes off on Commander Feral’s desk, daring him to say something, then she stalked out of the room. The kat gaped after her, obviously not expecting something like that. She heard him belatedly call for her to come back, then to yell for Enforcers to catch her.
“I don’t need this…” she muttered, clinging to her control as she ran to the landing pad on the roof. She paused long enough to be sure her ride was waiting for her before she jumped from the landing.
She buckled the many restraints as she got comfortable in the Phoenix. Again she silently thanked her brother’s ingenuity, brilliance and general thoughtfulness in giving her his plans for artificial intelligence which made her escape possible.
Klawz looked up from her tasks to see a handful of Enforcer helicopters descending slowly in the air alleyway created by the buildings. Immediately she closed the canopy and switched the Phoenix off auto-pilot. Though her radio, which was set on an Enforcer ban, she heard Feral demand that she be brought in for questioning.
“Not this time, Commander Feral!” Klawz said and pulled away, leaving the Enforcers to try to follow.
After a few minutes of playing hide and seek between the buildings, she lost her pursuers and headed towards her hangar, careful to keep and eye out for any tails. When she was sure there were none, she continued to mechanically go though the procedures of landing.
When she was safe inside her hangar, Klawz removed her helmet and mask and became Katareena again, who was only feline. She covered her face with her paws and sobbed.
It took a while, but Reena waited until she was sure she was composed enough to drive before she shut up the hangar and went home. It took all her control and sheer determination not to break into sobs again, but her paws still trembled on the wheel and tears still ran down her face. [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[
When she pulled into the apartment’s underground parking lot, she sat for a few minutes, staring at the plain grey wall in front of her parking slot. Here came the most difficult part of her journeys that night – the walk from her car to her apartment. Being one of the few high profile tenants, she wasn’t out of the woods yet. Having a nervous break-down in the elevator or the lobby just wasn’t what Katareena was looking for that day.
After another deep calming breath, she pulled the keys from the ignition and pasted a big smile on her face before climbing out. She rounded the low slung sports car and opened the trunk. Her bag wasn’t there.
“Damn!” she hissed, another chunk of her calm falling from her facade. She heard faint echoes of her curse as she reminded herself to make a call to get her bag out of the Enforcer locker room vent she had left it in. Katareena hoped that no one took it in their head to search the vent for evidence in the murder of that one unlucky Enforcer. She sighed and slammed the trunk, the harsh echoes following her to the stairwell.
Katareena quickly made her way upstairs. When she spied her door, she felt relief – she could finally let go of her image and have a good cry. She walked past some empty boxes, noting them and realizing she was going to have a floor mate. She slid the key into the lock and went inside, catching a glimpse of the buff grey kat that was moving in two doors down.
[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[ It wasn’t a minute before there was a knock on her door. Katareena pulled the last few pieces of her shattering confidence together and answered the door, opening it just a crack against the chain. One lazy black eye met her blue ones as the grey kat she had seen in the hall smiled at her.
“Hi! Kit Carpenter! I just moved in apartment 39! I was wondering if I could use your phone since mine isn’t hooked up yet. No one else seems to be answering their doors…”
Her lips twitched into a small smile as she unchained the door. “That’s because you and I are the only ones on the floor. You can use the phone.” Reena opened the door and let him in. She led him to the phone on the table in the living room and went into the kitchen so she wouldn’t look like she was listening in. “I’ll just…” she muttered, letting the door swing behind her.
In the safety of the kitchen, she watched the little red light on the extension so she would know he was off. After a few seconds, she went to the ‘fridge and examined it’s contents. Nothing looked appetizing. She glanced at the clock, it was almost midnight. No wonder she wasn’t hungry. Another look at her phone told her that he was off. She went back to the living room.
Kit was writing furiously on a pad of paper she kept by the phone. He looked up and smiled. It looked enough like Salem’s last smile to make her go pale under her fur. “Thanks…Miss….?”
She wrangled enough of her acting talents to produce a smile for him. “Perkins. Katareena Perkins.”
The look on his face was priceless. “Katareena Perkins? Holy Kats!” he paused and repeated, “Holy Kats! I’m Kit Carpenter!”
The smile was easier this time. “I know…you told me earlier.”
“Wow! Katareena Perkins! Holy Kats!” Kit said again, a dazed look in his black eyes. He looked at the clock on the VCR and jumped. “Geez! I’m sorry! I didn’t realize what time it was! You look beat! Thanks for letting me use the phone! Bye!” He ripped the page he was writing on off the pad and made his escape.
Reena smiled and locked the door again. She let the smile slide off her face as she sat on the couch and used the remote to turn on the TV. She caught the tail end of Ann Gora’s news broadcast and growled a little without realizing it. She forced herself off the couch and into the bedroom.
There, she undressed and put on a huge T-shirt to sleep in. Not that she expected a lot of sleep that night. Even now, while she was awake, she saw Salem’s twisted face as he rushed her…then fell to his death.
Reena shrugged off the memory and went into the bathroom. In the mirror she saw her form silhouetted by the bedside lamp and reflected back at her. She flipped on the light and staggered back in horror. Across the mirror the words ‘you are the kiss of death’ were scrawled in something that resembled blood. They still dripped, somewhat distorting the message.
Her eyes burned with tears as she cautiously stepped forward to touch them. The line smeared instantly and she brought it to her nose to smell. It didn’t smell like blood, but it was familiar. She brought her finger to her tongue and tasted. It was what they used in movies to represent blood. She met her frightened blue eyes in the mirror.
‘Call the Enforcers.’ A part of her whispered. But a bigger part of her was agreeing with the words on her mirror. She *was* the kiss of death. Everyone she loved was dead, or far away, or she had pushed them away. Friends were more business associates than true friends. She had arranged it that way. There was no one.
“Mother…Father…Allie…Morris…all dead,” Reena murmured, still staring into her own eyes.
And far away, behind thick cement and steel walls and under guard, her tormentor slept peacefully, convinced that his revenge had already begun. Leo Vernes had a hunch. And his hunches weren’t usually wrong.
“Kiss of death….kiss of death….kiss…..death…..dead…..” T-Bone told her. Katareena gasped in horror as T-Bone reached for her with skeletal arms and his face became a skull.
“No!” she cried, and ran. But she couldn’t move very well. It was like she was wading though molasses, but T-Bone, who somehow was now very far behind her, was gaining on her.
Razor appeared in front of her and grabbed her shoulders. “You are the kiss of death. Kiss of death…and T-Bone’s going to die.” His words echoed though the night air in the alley. He threw her against the wall and yelled at her. “My partner’s going to die because of you!” Razor jumped for her, then crashed though the plastic on the window and screamed as he fell to his death.
“You killed Razor! You killed my friend! You are the kiss of death!” T-Bone cried and vanished. Salem stood over her now.
“You killed me. You’re the kiss of death….” He said. Her mother appeared beside him and repeated what he said, followed by her father and two brothers. She fell to her knees and sobbed as they circled her, repeating the phrase over and over.
Eventually, her own sobs woke her up and she lifted her head from the sodden pillow. The clock announced it was barely three a.m. Katareena wiped her eyes with the back of a paw and rolled over to stare at the ceiling.
A shadow glided to her bedside and she couldn’t move. The dark figure reached down and brushed her face with it’s paw. Still, she couldn’t move.
“You killed me, Reena. Thanks to your kiss, I am gone forever,” the kat accused and stepped into the moonlight. It was T-Bone. “I’m dead,” he said and his face melted off to reveal a skull.
Katareena screamed and woke herself up again. She sat up and held her face in her paws, shaking.
“I am the kiss of death,” she told herself, threw the sheet off of her and crawled out of bed. She went to the bathroom and flicked on the light. Instinctively, she ducked her head and slitted her eyes until she had adjusted to the harsh light. Katareena raised her head only to be accused in the dried stage blood she hadn’t removed. ‘You are the kiss of death.’
She turned the light off and went into the darkened living room. Katareena stared out the window and watched the city sleep while she cried silently.
Morning came and she was awake to greet it. She reached for the phone and dialed Enforcer Headquarters. “Is Commander Jun in yet?” she asked softly after the desk clerk answered.
“Not yet, ma’am. Do you have a message for her?”
“Yes. Tell her Katareena Perkins can’t join her today. Okay?” Her bottom lip trembled and she was afraid she’d start crying on the phone.
“Yes ma’am. Katareena Perkins can’t join her today. I have it. Anything else?”
“No. No thank-you…good-bye.” She hung up the phone gently and watched as the city awoke and went to work. A while later she dialed another number.
“Hello?” the familiar voice asked groggily, obviously awakened.
“Marm? It’s me, Katareena.”
“Katareena? You’re up? I usually wake *you* up! What’s the matter?” her agent asked, as usual finding a tone in her voice that she had never been able to detect herself and calling her out on it.
“Nothing really, I’m just sick.” She forced a little cheer into her voice and continued. “I can’t make any appointments today or tomorrow and after that…I just don’t know.”
“All right. You take as long as you need, but promise me one thing.”
“What is it?”
“You heard me, eat. You never take good care of yourself. I was Leo’s assistant for five years; I know you as well as he does, if not better.”
“You didn’t promise me!” Her agent protested as Katareena hung up.
Darkness came and went and Katareena barely noticed as the days flew by. She alternately was calm and extremely depressed. Many times a day her paw hovered over the phone, but she always drew it away. That number was forbidden.
She was aware that the phone rang several times and that the answering machine played it’s short message. The voice was almost always the same, pleading for her to answer. Katareena barely acknowledged that there was someone reaching out to her. In the dark world she had let herself fall into, there was no one. She had killed them all.
Sometimes there was a knock on the door and she ignored it too. The mail came though the little slot every day and she read it. But it was in this far away world, like the letters weren’t real.
When she remembered to eat, she ordered out, not trusting herself in the kitchen with the knives. She was an old hat at this endless depression – only it was devastating this time since she hadn’t been very depressed since she had moved to Megakat City.
She snapped out of her depression three days after Salem had plunged to his death outside Enforcer Headquarters. Katareena celebrated by flipping on the TV to see what had happened to the city while she had wandered in her daze.
“This is Ann Gora for the weekly review. It’s Sunday night in Megakat City, join us…” The usual clips from the week’s news broadcast flickered across the screen before the camera cut in with Ann’s face.
“As you know…” she began reviewing things she already knew for the first twenty minutes of the broadcast. Katareena fought sleep. “On to Thursday. Patrolkat Thomas Adams was murdered in the kats locker room in Enforcer Headquarters, his murderer, Mark ‘Salem’ Nealson, plunged to his death from an abandoned part of the same building not a half-hour later. Evidence linking Nealson to the deaths of the Enforcer pilots of Delta Force B’s multi-jet crashes was brought to Commander Feral. Feral, who that night had no comment for us, later admitted that our newest vigilante, Klawz, had brought the tapes to him.”
They cut to a clip of Feral at some sort of press conference. “The vigilante called ‘Klawz’ dropped the tapes on my desk and escaped to the roof of the Enforcer building. Her jet picked her up and whisked her away before we could question her. I will say this though, like the SWAT Kats, I will not rest until I have Klawz unmasked and in jail!” In the background, Commander Jun and Deputy Mayor Briggs exchanged looks, while Mayor Manx just tried to look as mayor-like as possible.
“On Friday,” Ann Gora continued, “Commander Jun announced her support of the SWAT Kats and Klawz, citing them as – quote – ‘selfless heroes who work alongside the Enforcers and go where the Enforcers can’t’. Commander Feral had no comment on Jun’s statement.”
Commercials came on again, letting Katareena ponder why Commander Jun made the statement. The show came back on. “On Saturday, Dr. Viper who held Megakat Tower and all those inside trying to turn them into vegetables…literally. Early today, however, the SWAT Kats and the Enforcers defeated Viper.”
Newsfootage flashed across the screen. “Feral ordered Viper to be brought down with the new and controversial stun gun. Unfortunately for them, Viper was either immune or the gun was malfunction. That’s it for this week, folks. As always, we’ll update you on anything relating to these stories. Goodnight.”
Katareena used the remote to turn off the TV. She padded off to bed, berating herself for not being aware of the activity that had happened within viewing distance. Megakat Tower wasn’t a half-block away. “I’ll check the messages tomorrow…” she yawned, to imprint it on her mind until she woke up.
When she opened her eyes the next morning, she was prepared to make the day great. She happily went to the bathroom and cleaned off the mirror, brushed her teeth, and took her shower. Katareena smiled to herself as she walked down the hall, her blonde hair wrapped up in a towel. As she passed the answering machine, she pushed the messages button.
“Twenty,” the machine said, then beeped to begin playing the messages.
“Katareena? You okay? Call me…” Marma said.
“You are the kiss of death….” a dark, husky voice said and breathed into the phone until the machine clicked off.
Katareena looked up from where she was making breakfast. The glass in her paw dropped and shattered.
“Kiss of death.”
“You are the kiss of death.”
She overcame her fear long enough to dash to the machine and stand over it.
“Katareena? Answer the phone! I’m worried about you!”
“This is Commander Jun. I’m sorry we missed each other. Another time? Call my office…”
“Kiss of death, Katareena. You killed them. Killed them all.”
“Run and hide, Kitten. Their ghosts have risen and they want revenge.”
“Katareena? What’s wrong? Are you okay? I’m coming over!”
“Katareena? Are you out of town? Why didn’t you tell me? Call me.”
“Answer the phone Katareena!” A pause from Marma. “Crud. Call me.”
“You’re beautiful, and Glamour Kat wants you to keep looking that way! One of our local agents will be happy to come over to give you a free demonstration! Just call 1-800-555-GLAM.”
“Kiss of death, Kitten. That’s what you are.”
“You’re alone, Kitten. The ghosts told me. You’re all alone…and I’m waiting for you….”
“All alone. No one’s there for you, Kitten. Just me, you, and the ghosts. And they’re on my side. We’ll be together….soon.”
“I watch your bedroom window. You’re beautiful…all of you.”
“Katareena? You haven’t called me yet. I’m off to visit my mother, you know the number…here…let me go get it…”
“It’s Marm again, the number is 555-7909, okay? Call me.”
Katareena had a paw to her throat, too scared of the kat’s voice to do anything more than stand over the machine.
“Kaaaattttaaaareeeeeeeennnaaaaa!” The voice teased.
“Kitten, don’t bother bringing this tape to the Enforcers. They can’t trace me.” He paused. “I love you, Katareena.”
“You haven’t gone anywhere in three days, Kitten. Are you sitting there, listening to the tapes, wondering about me? I sit here and think of you all day….”
“I love you, Katareena…..”
“Beeep! Beeep! Zero messages.”
Katareena stared at the machine for a few minutes, her heart beating in her chest like a trapped bird. Her paw shook as she reached over and fumbled with the buttons. Instead of the ‘erase’ button, she accidentally pushed the ‘play’ button again, and the horrors began for a second time. She shrieked a little and knocked the answering machine from the table and was rewarded by silence after the plug came undone.
Noon found her huddled in a corner, with her arms wrapped around her, tears running down her face. Her blue eyes stared off, blank with horror, fear…..and memories. Depression had set in again – and taken firmer root.
“When I grow up, can I be an Enforcer, just like daddy and Grand-Paw Perkins and Grand-Paw Felix? And -”
Her mother smiled gently, and she would later realize that the glimmer in her eye was pity. “Of course you can. You can be whatever you want.”
“You and Daddy’ll come back from the trip, won’t you?”
“Come here, Reena.”
“No.” A whisper torn from a throat raw from sobs. The young she-kat clutched at her stuffed animal as if it were the last toe hold to reality she had left. And it probably was. “I want Mommie and Daddy to come back – NOW!”
“Oh, Kitten, they can’t come back. They’re gone….”
“We regret to inform you that your brothers -”
“NO! They’re not dead! Check again! They have to be somewhere…”
Katareena shivered, emerging from total terror into a short span of consciousness and calmness she always fell into when she had no tears left. She shakily stood and scanned the room until she spied her lap top. That was what she’d do, she’d get on the In-fur-net.
She tripped over the answering machine and was reminded of her terror. Katareena skittishly avoided the windows and took her lap top to her bedroom, where she quickly locked the doors and shuttered the windows. After crawling under the covers and propping herself up with pillows, she connected to the In-fur-net.
((note – the following is written like actual real-time chat rooms, I’ll leave out as much of the confusing bits as possible. < > these close around someone’s handle – or name. :: :: this denotes the computer talking. _ _ this denotes Katareena typing and * * is the chatroom moderator – or basically, the computer within the computer))
The screen prompted. Katareena typed in her handle.
_mkc real time chat room_
Katareena waited, the computer screen casting it’s colors across her emotionless face and onto the wall. The room began to lose light, so she flicked on the bedside lamp.
::connected. gathering qualities…..done::
*WELCOME TO MEGAKAT CITY REAL TIME CHAT!!!*
<Midas> Hey Rayne! <Go-Go Gilly> Rayne… <Rayne> Hey all…. <Midas> fUZ uP? <Go-Go Gilly> … <Rayne> Well… <Midas> Oh, right, excuse us Rayne.
*MIDAS AND GO-GO GILLY HAVE PUT YOU ON HOLD*
<Rayne> Guys? <Rayne> I have to talk to you…
*GO-GO GILLY HAS LEFT MEGAKAT CITY REAL TIME CHAT*
<Rayne> Bye Gilly…. <Midas> She’s upset ’cause her boyfriend said some things to her. <Rayne> That’s horrible….I’ll never understand why she doesn’t leave him. <Midas> Yeah, well, I’m meeting her in another chatroom to calm her down. Leavin’, see ya!
*MIDAS HAS LEFT MEGAKAT CITY REAL TIME CHAT*
<Rayne> But! <Rayne> Too late….
Katareena noticed that the screen was blurring. When she went to rub her eyes she wasn’t too surprised that the fur on her paws became wet with her tears. Every time she reached out there was no one to take her paw and lead her down the path of life. She logged out, her limbs heavy and weak, then closed her lap top. [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[
Kit Carpenter sat on his couch looking at his cell phone. The number was untraceable, so he wasn’t at all nervous about phoning Katareena again. It was amazing how she’d gotten under his fur.
At first it was only that love one has for a famous movie star. Then, when he had tricked her into letting him into her apartment, she had given him such a smile….she wanted him. He could tell these things. He bet she was playing one of his messages again over and over…like he was doing right now with her movies.
Not the Enforcer ones, though. His Katareena wasn’t all tough like the characters. No, she was all soft and sweet like the characters in the romance movies. Sweet and soft and always looking for the right guy – him.
The deal he’d made with Leo Vernes was simple – scare her. Well, Kit was going to scare her…right into his open arms. The agent told him as much about her past as he knew; it wasn’t pretty.
After a few minutes more of daydreaming, Kit reached for the cell phone.
The phone rang, making Reena start in surprise. Her frightened blue eyes darted around the room until they found the phone on the floor – which, for some strange reason, had been kept ‘on the hook’ by resting against something on the floor. She stared at the phone until it stopped ringing and the answering machine tried to click on, but couldn’t.
The phone stopped ringing and she gave a sigh of relief. Katareena climbed out of bed and went over to the toppled phone to properly unhook it. But the phone rang again and automatically, she brought it to her mouth.
“Katareena? This is Marm…..what’s the matter?”
“Oh Marm! I – …..nothing…I’m okay.”
“Reena…” Marm’s voice held a note of warning, which Katareena ignored completely.
The agent sighed. Sometimes, there was no getting around Katareena. “Somekat broke into your hangar and wrecked the place. The Enforcers have checked it all out and want you to come and see if anything is missing.”
Katareena stayed silent for a moment. “Yes….I’ll be there…”
It took longer than normal to get ready, mostly because she had been under the impression that she wouldn’t need to get ready for anything for awhile. She drove her sports car to the hangar where two supremely bored looking Enforcers were waiting.
Katareena climbed out of the convertible and walked over to them. They looked up, twice – a double take. As well they should, since Katareena Perkins, star of both the silver screen and television, was without make-up and wearing the rattiest of grey sweat pants and a white sleeveless shirt.
The Enforcers blinked, then began their spiel about how they figured the kat broke in and etc. She ignored most of it, all she was looking for was signs that somekat had broken into Hangar Control. And she couldn’t check for sure until the well-meaning Enforcers left.
“…and that’s about it, Miz Perkins. We think they were just after souvenirs. Anything missing?”
“Honestly, it could be hours before I could tell. I don’t want to keep you, could I call the station to confirm?”
“Yes Miz Perkins, direct it to…” and the Enforcer rattled off his answer and he and his partner left not long after.
Katareena immediately re-entered the hangar and stepped into the broom closet. She triggered the mechanism and went down the stairs. The hangar was just like she’d left it….or was it? That folder on the table….had it been moved? The box of spare parts….rifled through? Had she really left her secondary helmet on the floor next to the jet? Was she just imagining things?
Kit growled as, yet again, the phone to Katareena’s apartment rang and rang some more. The buff grey kat ground his teeth together and jammed the button on his cell phone down harshly. The sissy little ‘beep’ did nothing to improve his mood.
“Well……Honey…..since it seems you’re not at home….I’ll leave you another message.”
As soon as she stepped into the lobby of her apartment building, dozens of the blood sucking paparazzi swarmed all over her. Katareena gasped and blinked quickly. She wasn’t ready for this. She hadn’t been so crowded in weeks and the flashing bulbs and the rolling cameras and the jabber of the media overwhelmed her.
“Please! Leave me alone….” she choked out and forced her way to the elevators, where security barred the reporters from following. A few of the more slippery of the scum had thought about taking the stairs, so when the elevator doors slid open she was greeted with more flashing lights.
“Hey! Leave her alone!” A vaguely familiar male voice boomed from behind them. The photographers dropped their cameras to their waists and whirled around to face her new neighbor, Kit Carpenter. “I said, leave her alone!”
He pushed past the three or four kats and took her wrist in his big paw, then gently dragged her through the barrier the kats had created. Then, definitely not gently, he shoved the three or four into the elevator. Before they had time to protest, the doors slammed shut and the lift left.
“Thanks,” she said weakly and allowed herself to be guided to her door. They stopped and she looked up through dampened lashes to smile shakily at Kit. “I’d invite you in….but…” Her smile drooped.
Kit smiled, “Hey, no problem. We’ll have coffee sometime.” Reena nodded in agreement and pulled her key ring from the pocket of her sweat pants. Kit waved a little and went back down the hall and she found the right key and entered.
She heard the sound of her door slamming shut behind her. But it was a hollow sound. She couldn’t believe her eyes. First the hangar…..now her apartment. Katareena surveyed the living room in horror.
The lamp was on, though when she left it was too bright for a lamp. There, dear lord, there was romantic music playing on the stereo and the lights were dimmed. To top it off, a box of chocolates sat on the table and roses were on the couch.
She heard the sound of harsh breathing and quickly realized it was her. “Oh my….oh help….please…..someone…” Katareena heard herself faintly. She slid down to the floor against the door and hugged herself tightly. “Oh please…oh please…”
Time past. How much, she would not know until much, much later. “A bath,” she announced, then proceeded to her bathroom to draw a nice hot bubble bath.
While the water ran, she rummaged through a closet until she found what she was looking for. The box was already stamped and addressed and everything….she had just avoided sending the package. Katareena took it to the door and placed it beside it. Then she sat down to write on some of her best stationary.
Katareena finished writing and set the pen down, staring at the words until they blurred. “Oh…right…the bath…” she muttered, and walked into the bathroom. The bubbles had just reached the edge of the tub. Reena turned off the water and undressed, then stepped into the tub. She slid deep into the water and closed her eyes, thinking of nothing at all.
It wasn’t long before the water cooled and almost all of the bubbles had popped. She opened her eyes and stared at the water. Before she even thought it through, the water suddenly covered her head. She took a breath.
Then she shoved herself up from under the luke-warm water and coughed and sputtered and cried. Her throat was raw now, which made her feel even worse than she did already. Katareena drug herself out of the deep tub and collapsed on the bathroom rug.
“Has it truly come to the point where I would take my own life?” she questioned aloud.
**Yes,** came a dark voice deep within herself. The voice of Klawz. **This is not allowed. You will not kill yourself because that means killing me. All those I would have helped will suffer because YOU can’t handle things. Let me…** the dark voice urged. She gladly gave herself up to it.
Katareena felt something very like a tearing sensation in her. She would have screamed, but it seemed her body wouldn’t listen to her even that much.
**Calm yourself. You let me take over, remember?** Klawz asked mildly as Katareena’s body seemed to be ripping into shreds. Reena actually saw memories fly past, as if Klawz was digging herself out of the back of her mind and scattering whatever was by her around.
‘What have I done?’ she asked herself, and was horrified in the thought that she was actually asking a separate entity.
**Set me free….set me free….**
Hours past. Each moment of them Katareena spent in terror and pain.
She had never even imagined….this… Had she unleashed a greater horror than any of the assorted mad villains the city already had? Or a more forceful vigilante? Or….worse…something that would live only for revenge against the kat or kats who tormented her? She feared the latter.
**Relax. You will regain control…partially…when this is through.** Klawz told her, amused, as her physical body lay shivering on the damp bathroom rug.
‘What do you mean ‘partially’?’ she asked herself.
Klawz laughed in her mind. **When you don the mask of justice, I will again take control. To quote an old axiom… ‘be careful what you wish for’…..**
Kit paced in front of Katareena’s door. He heard two distinct voices, and it wasn’t on the television or the radio. He couldn’t dare enter now. But he wanted to. By everything living, he wanted to. Just who had moved in on his prey?
**Now, we’re getting dressed,** Klawz kindly informed her as her body walked out of the bathroom, into the bedroom and found the hidden panel in her closet.
Katareena had never been so completely frustrated in her life. She couldn’t even make herself blink of her own free will. But Klawz could. In fact, Klawz was dressing her (herself?) in her uniform.
**You now know how it was for me all those years,** the dark voice ground out. **I split from you, yet I shared your body. My body. THE body….yet I could do nothing. Feel lucky that I’m allowing you as much freedom as I am.**
Now in uniform, Klawz walked towards the window, slipping on her Glove-a-Trex as she went. Katareena struggled within herself, quite literally. **Stop that. You’ve been there before, don’t pretend you haven’t.**
‘What?’ Reena stopped fighting what was happening.
**Whenever you put on the mask, you let me emerge. Not quite as much as I would have liked to, but I did gain most of the control over this body.** Klawz pulled their body through the window and used the grappling hooks in the Glove-a-Trex to pull them to the nearest roof top. **We will begin looking for clues. That stalker mentioned that he saw our body. This is the only building where he could have. Let’s decide which window.**
One by one windows were eliminated, whether they were too low or didn’t have the kind of view necessary, or for reasons completely intuitive. They decided upon one of two windows, one directly across from hers and one just above the first. Both apartments were vacant, making the list of possible suspects tremendous. It looked like a simple thing to get past security at the bottom floors and the locks on the doors would be easily picked.
**We watch. We wait. He will come,** was the reply.
What was going on in there? Kit Carpenter wanted to know. He decided he’d have a look for himself and went to the building next door. After sneaking past the old Rent-A-Cop at the front entrance, Kit took the stairs two at a time until he reached the floor where he used one of the windows to spy on Katareena.
The door opened quietly under his expert lock-picking skills. He stepped inside and closed the door behind him. “What’s happening, Kitten?” Kit muttered as he pulled his binoculars from his pack and strode to the window. He was in for the shock of his life when he put them to his eyes.
“Yiiiiii-ah!” Came a deep female voice from just above him. He jerked his head up to see a she-kat dressed like a SWAT Kat coming down on him like an eagle. He threw himself back and ended up dumping himself on the floor of the apartment. The masked she-kat entered through the window he left open, then slowly started moving towards him. “Kit Carpenter….pleasure I’m sure…” She growled, her smile almost evil. Kit blanched – no female should talk to him that way!
‘It’s the guy down the hall….what’s-his-name – Kit Carpenter!!!’ Katareena shrieked to Klawz, once again betrayed by a he-kat and feeling it with every cell of her body.
“Kit Carpenter…pleasure I’m sure….” Klawz ground out, advancing on the kat. The kat backed up for a few seconds, then his expression darkened and he stopped.
“Listen you slut…I don’t know what kind of drugs you’re trippin’ on, but you ain’t a SWAT Kat! Now just get your tail out of here and don’t come back!” He stepped forward.
Klawz laughed. “Who say’s he-kats aren’t stupid? Listen up. You are going to march yourself down to the Enforcer station and admit that you have been stalking Katareena Perkins. And you will tell them why. But before you do that, you will tell ME.”
It was now Kit’s turn to laugh. “Listen you short slut, I don’t have to explain anything to anykat. In fact……” He tossed down his binoculars and moved forward, meaning to grab hold of her. Klawz kicked him in the stomach. Kit doubled over.
Rage. That’s what she felt in heavy waves coming from Klawz. It scared her because Klawz was an extension of herself. ‘You’re going to kill him, aren’t you?’ Katareena asked.
**Maybe. Depends on if he makes me mad or not.**
“Bitch,” Kit grunted, as he clutched his stomach. “For that I’ll kill you…..”
“Ooooooh….I’m scared of the big strong kat….see me shake?” Klawz taunted, moving closer, and moving slowly into a crouch. The words send Kit over the edge – he rushed at Klawz, yeowling in anger.
‘No! Don’t!’ Katareena cried, recognizing Klawz’ intentions. She was ignored.
Klawz grabbed Kit’s wrist and moved forward, whirling him around, then she lifted his arm and flipped. The two landed seconds later, Klawz on top of Kit and Kit howling in pain and terror as his body recognized that his arm was broken. She picked herself up and glared down at him.
“That was too easy!” she spat. “When will I face somekat worthy of my rage?” Kit only whimpered. “Wimp.”
But he wasn’t through with her yet. He pulled out a dull grey gun and fired. Klawz avoided being shot in the head or chest, but wasn’t quite ready – she took the bullet in her left side and screamed.
‘Get out! Get out of here! By now somekat’s called the Enforcers!’ Katareena urged. Klawz acknowledged, but didn’t heed right away. She kicked Kit in the head one last time and stumbled to the window.
Razor and T-Bone were flying patrol over Megakat City. You know, regular, everyday patrol, one that usually doesn’t net more than spying several thousand kats on their way in their busy day.
“Hey……what’s th- T-Bone! Catch her!” Razor yelled.
T-Bone’s attention was caught and he dipped the wing of the TurboKat until he was rewarded by a thump. The TurboKat was put in hover mode. Both SWAT Kats looked over to where a bleeding Klawz clung to the wing of the TurboKat.
“Bingo!” Razor cried as he pressed the release button on the canopy and crawled out to retrieve the female vigilante, pulling her inside and into the extra space behind his seat. “She’s hit bad, T-Bone, loosing a lot of blood. We’ll have to take her to the hospital.”
“No,” Klawz said, in more of a moan than a word, then passed out. Razor quickly pulled the first aide kit from is area of the jet and wrapped bandages around her midsection to slow the bleeding.
“Then the hangar…” T-Bone said softly.
Razor hesitated a second. “Roger.”
T-Bone let habit take over as he flew the jet back to the hangar and began the landing sequence. When they were safely inside and the jet was back in it’s take-off position, he finally looked to where Razor was treating Klawz on the hangar floor.
“I don’t want to move her until I figure out how bad it is,” Razor explained when T-Bone stood over his shoulder.
She wore a flight suit like theirs, only in reverse colors. Under that she wore a white tank top and spandex shorts, for which T-Bone was grateful, if she hadn’t been wearing another shirt underneath he didn’t think Razor would stop blushing for a month.
He took a good look at the wound she had acquired and tried to remember where it was they’d picked her up. All he could remember was that it was in a residential section – what was she doing there? He’d have to remember to ask. He’d also have to figure out how to get them all out of this mess – her being at their hangar.
‘Oh GODS! What HAPPENED back there?!? I NEVER use deadly force! And you almost did, don’t deny it! Oh GODS!’ Reena fretted while the two were out cold.
**Fine. I did, satisfied?**
‘NO! I’m not! OH GODS! When we regain consiousness….well….IF we regain consciousness, I’m in charge.’
‘YES! I won’t have you….you RUINING me! And that’s what you’re doing! I am the dominate one!’
**Suit yourself. You’re the dominate one. Oh how you dominate over me. I am awed,** Klawz said, her ‘voice’ strained and angry.
‘What’s the matter?’ Katareena asked, concerned.
**Well, when you’re in charge and you take a hit, don’t you suffer?**
**Well, figure it out. I was in charge when our body got hit, therefore I’m in pain. Simple, no?** she snapped.
T-Bone volunteered to sit up in uniform with Klawz while Razor got some sleep. He watched, worried, while she tossed and turned throughout the night. Sometimes she mumbled to herself.
It unnerved him. Not that she talked to herself, everykat usually did that while sleeping in pain. No, what raised the fur at the base of his skull was she used two voices. One that was familiar to him, and one that was darker, harsher….full of rage.
“Thank-you….” the familiar voice whispered. T-Bone glanced over to the cot Klawz was laying on. She was looking at him, one paw clasped over the bandages on her side. They, out of respect, had left her mask on, though they had removed her helmet. Her dark blonde hair was spread out on the pillow. Something in the back of his mind clicked, but he didn’t want to acknowledge what he discovered, so he ignored it.
“We couldn’t just drop you off at the hospital when you ordered us not to…” he joked gruffly.
Klawz smiled. “I did…? Huh…” She rolled onto her back and stared at the ceiling of the hangar. “How bad is it?”
“Not bad, Razor says. He also says you should go to the hospital, though. We’re not equipt for surgery, and that bullet’s still in you.”
“You knew I was hit by a bullet?” she asked sleepily.
He realized the drugs they’d given her were messing around with her memory and explained. “Powder stains on your clothes and fur… Klawz, what were you doing in that apartment?” T-Bone couldn’t help it, curiosity got the better of him. He also knew that he’d have a better chance of getting a straight answer while she was drugged and tired.
“Mmm….” she trailed off, either searching for the words, or the memory itself. “Taking care of a stalker…”
His blood froze. Stalking was no joking matter. “Yours?”
“Yeah.” She fell asleep just a little later, leaving T-Bone to ponder the revalation.
A female kitten sat in the corner of her room, clutching a plush toy tightly, her big blue eyes even wider and tears ran in streaks down her cheeks. The shadows scared her now. Not before, they didn’t. But they did now.
“Momma… Momma….. Momma…” she chanted. “I’ll remember everything, Momma. I will. I’ll be the best Enforcer yet, you’ll see. Momma, you’ll see…”
Razor’s attention was forced to the cot as Klawz’ mutterings grew louder. “You’ll see…” she said in a wispy kitten’s voice. He noticed the tears on her face, those few that seemed to have escaped behind the mask.
He was torn. He wanted to offer comfort, and wipe away the tears, but he didn’t know how she’d react. The small brown kat with the big heart hovered near her for seconds longer.
“Oh please, Momma, I didn’t want you to die… Oh Gods, Momma, I want you back…”
That decided him, he sat on the cot and murmured words to her, while wiping the tears from her face. Her eyes opened and she seemed surprised, then she pushed herself up and threw herself into his arms. “I’m sorry, Razor, I….”
He patted her back, and held back as much of his blush as possible. Sometimes he wished for just half of the certainty T-Bone had with she-kats. “It’s all right…. Uhmm…” Razor spied T-Bone coming inside the hangar, ready for the shift change they had agreed upon. “Don’t cry, it upsets T-Bone…”
Razor received a glare from his partner, but was rewarded by a watery chuckle from Klawz. She still clutched at him though and he desperately wanted to comfort her, but his own embarrassment got in the way. He blushed up at T-Bone, who looked, if anything, jealously down at him. It was then that Razor knew that his friend knew exactly who Klawz was. And then he did too. Klawz was none other than Katareena Perkins.
She held onto Razor for awhile longer, the terror of her nightmares still lingering. She had sensed a change in the air when T-Bone entered the hangar, and Razor had seemed to brace himself because of it. She released him and moved back a little.
The two SWAT Kats looked at each other, then at her. She saw them communicate. That alone told her how long they had been friends and partners. She opened her mouth to speak…then couldn’t remember what it was she was going to say. Turns out it didn’t matter, darkness settled over her.
Razor caught her when she sagged and laid her back on the pillow, then looked back up at T-Bone. His friend’s face no longer looked jealous, he was scared if anything. Razor got off the cot and motioned for T-Bone to follow.
They stopped at a far enough distance from their unconscious charge to talk. “What’s wrong, T-Bone?”
The taller, tawny kat looked back towards the cot, frowning and fisting his paws. “Go ahead and get changed, buddy. You’ll see.” Razor nodded and went into another section of the hangar to change, then climbed the ladder to the garage.
Jake gaped at the newspapers strewn over the kitchen table. Katareena’s face was plastered over them. There was terror in her eyes and tears on her lashes as she looked directly at the viewer.
MOVIE STARLET DISAPPEARS!
SUICIDE NOTE FOUND IN ACTRESS’ APPARTMENT!
The headlines proclaimed. Jake sat down and read each one. Several of the newspapers proudly revealed that their photographers had taken the pictures only hours before Katareena Perkins had been reported missing.
Also reported was the story that in the apartment building across the street from hers, the sounds of fighting had been heard, and a shot fired. When Enforcers arrived they found a kat unconscious. Binoculars, words in a suicide note found in her apartment, and answering machine messages with the kat’s voice on them threatening her set the kat directly in a slot labeled ‘stalker’. He’s being held for questioning until Katareena could be found – and he’s under suspicion for her disappearance.
Jake read on, only to have a very lonely picture painted of Katareena’s life. Every member of her immediate family was dead, and he could only imagine about her extended family. There were very few who even claimed to be fast friends with her, those were either offering a very political nod and dismay to her disappearance and the others really seemed….even more distant. The only truly distressed person seemed to be her new agent who reported her missing in the first place.
He set the papers down and thought about these new discoveries as he made breakfast for three.
T-Bone sat in a chair, watching over her, and she watched over him though slitted eyes. A movement in the corner of the hangar caught her attention. She yelled to get T-Bone’s attention.
“T-BONE!” She threw herself upright, ignoring the ripping pain in her side from the effort. The SWAT Kat looked at her, then towards the danger, wasting precious seconds.
Two kats stepped out into the light and she both screamed and growled as she discovered who they were – Kit Carpenter…..and Salem. Salem smirked at her as Kit raised his gun and fired, striking T-Bone in the chest and toppling him.
She forced herself off the cot and, finding she couldn’t walk properly to him, fell almost on top of him. She dragged her body over his to protect him as the two intruding kats stepped forward. “OH GODS! T-BONE!!!”
She raised her eyes to theirs and hissed at the evil she found there. Kit looked down at her with lust in his eyes while Salem grinned madly. “Kiss of death,” they accused.
“No!” she wept, putting her paws to T-Bone’s neck, feeling frantically for a pulse.
“Kiss of death,” they reminded her, and she felt the cold barrel of the gun at her temple. “Kiss his life good-bye….”
“Nooo…” she yowled and clutched at T-Bone’s collar as she wished her life for his.
“T-BONE!” Klawz shrieked from the cot. He rushed to her as she pushed herself up. Her eyes were open, but she seemed to see something that wasn’t there. She tried to get out of the cot, which he couldn’t allow. But she was surprisingly strong in her obvious terror and he found himself flat on his back with her upper body covering his – like she was protecting him.
“Reena!” he said, upset enough that he didn’t notice the endearment until it was too late. Her eyes dropped down to his face and for a second he could swear she’d regained control. “Reena….” he said again. Her eyes immediately lost the ‘aware’ look they had held.
“OH GODS! T-BONE!!!” Tears filled her eyes and she looked up as if at somekat who had attacked him. She hissed, then wept, her small paws seeming to search for a pulse at his neck. “No……..no…..” She wailed, tugging weakly at his collar.
He took her paws in his and called to her softly until she stopped crying and looked at him. Her eyes were aware now, but her lips were set into a sarcastic line. “Sorry,” Klawz said shortly, then picked herself off of him.
T-Bone stared up at her, then got up himself. “Confused, aren’t you?” Klawz put both paws on her hips and lifted her chin, staring up at him.
“Affirmative….” he said cautiously.
“Good. You shocked the hell out of her.”
“W-what? Who?” T-Bone asked, even more confused.
“When did I do that?”
“When you called her ‘Reena’ just now. Scared her right back in there.” She tapped the side of her head. “Oh sit down before you fall down.”
Klawz pushed him towards the cot, but he refused to sit. “Hey, wait, no… WHAT?”
The she-kat seemed to listen to someone other than him, tilting her head to one side. “Fine,” she answered whoever she had been listening to. She looked directly at him before her eyes went blank and she slumped a little. T-Bone rushed to support her. After a second, she put a paw on his forearm and looked up at him.
“Lemmie…sit down….” She pushed at him, fighting to retain even a little of her dignity. He released her reluctantly and she moved over to the cot, where she sat. “Sit with me?” she asked, a pleading look in her eyes that he didn’t even want to refuse. “Uhmm…let’s see…where to start?”
Jake lifted his head from the stove. He could have *sworn* he heard screams. He turned down the heat and left their breakfast warming as he moved closer to the secret entrance to the hangar. Yes, there were screams from downstairs all right, Katareena’s. They were quieted in the span of a few moments, so Jake figured it wouldn’t be a good idea to go down just yet. His uniform *was* down there too, after all. ‘Sides, what couldn’t his partner handle?
[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[ “Well, it started one day when my mother, a mechanic, met my father, and Enforcer. They had three kittens, two boys and a girl, all of whom grew up wanting to be Enforcers. Two of them reached their goal….I didn’t…..”
As she told her story, she slowly moved closer to him, which sent his attention on what she was telling him in a downward spiral. At some point she had removed her mask. He didn’t remember quite when, but it didn’t truly matter to him either.
“Do you think you could help me regain myself?”
He knew exactly what she meant – help her ‘reunite’ “Klawz” and “Katareena” into one she-kat. “I’ll try, Reena. I’ll try my best.”
“Good…” she said sleepily, finally resting her head on his chest. “T-Bone?”
“Hmm?” He rested his chin on the top of her head, tucking her neatly in the cradle of his arms.
“I think I love you, and that scares me. Everyone I love dies.”
He tightened his arms around her and said, “I won’t die. I promise. Just promise me you won’t die on me either.”
“Promise,” she agreed, sighing. “And we’ll make Razor promise not to either…” Then she fell asleep.
It was then he started worrying about how much blood she had lost. Would he be able to convince her to go to the hospital? And how should he deliver her if she agreed?
Razor was watching over her when she awakened. Katareena looked up at him and wasn’t too surprised when he didn’t look completely taken aback by who she was. She nodded as if he had said something. “I have to go to the hospital, don’t I?”
“Affirmative. You’ve lost a lot of blood…and weren’t in too good a shape when we picked you up…” He avoided her eyes, as if to soften the blow of his chiding.
“I know, I don’t take good enough care of myself. How much of the story do you know?” She was vaguely surprised that to even mention telling the story didn’t hurt too badly.
“Enough.” He paused and smiled a little. “You cracked three of his ribs, broke his arm, and his skull has a hair-line fracture.”
She shook her head. “No, Klawz did all that. I just watched.” It was her turn to pause. “Do you know of any way to help me?”
“T-Bone and I discussed an option – but it would involve telling all to somekat else.”
Katareena thought about it. “Do you trust this kat?”
Razor nodded. “She’s helped us many times before. Dr. Sinian wouldn’t have you unmasked in front of all.”
“I trust the judgment of the SWAT Kats.” She smiled and lay back. “Razor….Have I lost as much blood as it feels like?”
“Maybe worse, Miss Perkins.”
Katareena laughed. “I’d like you to call me Katareena, or Reena. I think I’ve already asked you to.”
“Yes, Miss Perkins,” he teased to ears deaf. She was already asleep. Razor frowned.
“She shouldn’t be falling asleep so often. She needs to be in the hospital now.”
“When she wakes up, we’ll discuss it.”
Katareena opened her eyes to see both Razor and T-Bone. “‘Mornin’…” she mumbled.
“‘Night, actually, Reena,” T-Bone said, coming back towards where she lay. “Reena, we have to take you to the hospital. You’re not getting any better. Remember what I made you promise…”
She smiled. “You’re right. Help me out of my flight suit?”
T-Bone blushed, much to her delight. “Uhmm…”
“Well, I’m not showing up to the hospital in my uniform…”
“Right….” He helped her out so she now sat in her shorts and the white tank top.
“How long have I been here?” She’d lost track of time.
“We picked you up late last night, and it’s almost nine thirty now,” Razor volunteered.
“Thanks Razor,” she said, smiling. “Okay then, what’s our cover story? I’m not very well going to say I fell out of the window dressed like Klawz….” She drew her brows together, “Wait….but *his* story…”
Razor smiled. “He won’t admit it, even when he figures out that you and Klawz are the same she-kat. *He* says that the injuries were from a bar fight before he went into the apartment. And that the gunfire that everykat in the apartment building heard was caused when he tripped over the carpet and dropped the gun. Him falling is what knocked him out, of course.”
“Of course….” she said, grinning savagely. Anyone who saw the three would have remarked on how similar their smiles were then. “Go on…”
“He won’t admit that that was you, so all you have to say is that you were at your window and the bullet hit you. You were in such shock that you wandered out of the apartment building, and we found you earlier today.”
She thought it over and agreed. “We have a cover story now, but what about getting me out of the hangar?” The two again looked at each other. “I’ll take any kind of sleeping pill you want, you’ll know what’s safe.”
“Actually, we were going to – ” T-Bone began, reaching for his mask.
“Don’t you *dare*!” Katareena ordered. Both SWAT Kats looked at her. “I flatly refuse to let you reveal your identity to me.”
“Refuse, do you hear me?” She was distressed now, and she believed she actually felt the bullet in her side. She paled and would have fainted if not for the unwelcome intervention from Klawz.
“She asked if you heard her,” Klawz growled.
Both SWAT Kats looked unnerved. “Listen, Klawz…” T-Bone growled back. “I don’t care if you are partly Katareena, taking over her personality drains her. She needs all the strength she can get.”
“I know this. But you don’t know how close to suicide she was last night. I saved her from it. I *am* her strength.”
“Only because you made it that way,” Razor cut in, a hasty plan quickly blooming in the back of his mind.
The expression on her face changed to that of sudden dreaded comprehension. “I….I did not!”
“Yes you did!” Razor continued, “Instead of letting her deal with the memories or what was happening to her, you took them and you kept them. And while Katareena, the dominate personality, slept, you were allowed more freedoms, so you viewed the memories to help you gather the courage to fight as a vigilante.”
“No! No, you’re wrong!” The voice was no longer so strong or even ‘dark’. It was growing weaker, as if losing part of itself to join Katareena.
“He’s right and you know it. Her nightmares hurt her, not you. So she weakened and you began to dominate until last night, when she didn’t have the strength to fight the urges to take her own life – and you broke free of the last restraints.” T-Bone jabbed his index finger at her and she shrank back.
“Nooo….” The fire left her eyes and a split second later was void of any expression.
“Reena!” T-Bone cried, stepping forward and taking her by the shoulders. Her eyes were still blank moments later and he held back tears of pain. Razor put his paw on his partner’s shoulder as the she-kat was rocked a little.
“She’s back,” came a female voice. The SWAT Kats looked at Katareena’s face. She was smiling, then wrapped her arms around both of them, giving Razor a peck on the cheek and T-Bone a longer one on the lips. “And it feels so good to be back…..except for this bullet in my side. *That* hurts….”
T-Bone had the TurboKat in the air in minutes. Razor grinned back at Katareena, who flatly refused to open her eyes until a minute into the flight.
“T-Bone was impressed with your flying,” Razor informed her.
“Yeah? Well, *Sure-Shot* here was awed by your shooting skills!” T-Bone retaliated, something between a smile and a growl in his voice.
“First off we’ll have to work on your lying, T-Bone Sweets – the only shooting I did in front of the two of you was that shooting gallery aim way back at that Turmoil fiasco.” She winked at Razor, who gave her a thumbs up. “Second thing is I am even more awed with the two of you. You’re unstoppable.
“Awww….shucks…” they muttered. Katareena just smiled.
‘Pop’ Perkins was getting ready to go to work at his newspaper stand when the mailkat delivered a package. Curious, because he remembered the paw-writing on the box, he opened it. Inside were Enforcer uniforms, metals, awards, and other miscellaneous odds and ends – even two Blue Manx Metals of Honor.
His eyes misted over, his niece had finally let go of her past. It was about time. The Great Kat Above knew he’d let go of his disappointments with his Enforcer days long ago. He regretted that she’d let go of her past about the same time she’d let go with her will to live. He’d seen the papers, heck, his life revolved around them. He had little hope that his niece had survived the empty life she had created for herself.
Pop sat down on the floor by the door and cradled the two Blue Manx Metals in his paws. He remembered the looks in her eyes in the years since his brother died. And the last look he’d seen when she left the city six years ago for that acting career of hers. She’d already regretted her life, but she didn’t know how to change it. As her uncle, he’d tried to help her, but sometimes, family wasn’t enough, especially when there were so few members of it left.
They’d lost contact over the past three years. She too busy starring in movies, he too passive a kat to force her to write back to him. He wasn’t surprised, nor did he blame her for it. She’d cut him off because she loved him – everykat she loved eventually died.
He put the assorted items of the past back in its box and remembered that he’d left the television on. Pops walked over to it and reached for the knob – only to stop when he looked at the screen.
“…Perkins was delivered to MegaKat Memorial Hospital just hours ago by the SWAT Kats who found her wandering around the city in pain. The stalker Kit Carpenter apparently shot at her through the window of the apartment across the street and hit her in her left side. Confused with the pain, she wandered out of her apartment and into the streets for almost twenty-four hours. No word yet of why she wasn’t noticed. Katareena Perkins is now in surgery to remove the bullet from her wound… ” Ann Gora reported.
“Another hospital. I hate them, I do…” she growled, the medication wearing off again. As she lay looking at the too-white ceiling of the hospital, she ‘searched’ for Klawz.
Nothing was left. Not a glimmer. There was none of the rage that had been existent in the back of her mind for years. Klawz had left, and taken the rage and the pain with her. For this she would always be grateful to T-Bone and Razor.
There was a soft click at the door and she looked over to see T-Bone smiling down at her. “Hey…”
“Hey…” she replied.
“The doctors say you’ll be just fine.”
“Yeah…” She trailed off. They both were waiting for her to brush him off again. She wanted to disappoint him so much…and tell him she’d be his forever. “She’s gone, T-Bone. She took some of my worst memories with her too. Tell Razor thank-you for me, will you?”
“Yeah….” The look on his face hurt her, because he looked so hurt.
T-Bone came over to her bedside as she fought with the various wires connected to her. “Reena…? I don’t think you should take those off…”
“Hush. They’re getting in my way, I don’t need them. Sit.”
He sat gingerly on the edge of her bed, she immediately attacked him. Her arms were wrapped around his neck tightly and he held her as close as he could without crushing her or jarring her side. “Please don’t leave me again.”
“Oh, T-Bone….I have to. Not forever, though. I’ll be back, I promise.”
“Not forever… I have to recover first….then I have to travel around, re-establish contact with my family. I’ve…lost contact…”
“Don’t lose contact with me.”
“But…I don’t have an address….”
Before she could stop him, he removed his mask. “Chance,” she whispered, then put her paw to his face. She kissed him again. “Now put your mask back on before a doctor comes in here wondering what I did to those wires…” Katareena smiled and took his paw after he replaced the mask.
“Keep in contact.”
“I will,” she promised, hugging him.
[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[ EPILOGUE [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[
THREE MONTHS LATER…
“Hey you guys! We’red that babe go to?” Burke asked, elbowing his partner, Murray.
“Babe?” Chance asked, gritting his teeth while signing the clipboard. He was seething with anger because the two slobs had run over a screen he was going to use to fix the television set he had broken last week.
“Dat she-kat with the shades… May Dee? Keppie?” The two dump-truck drivers thought it over, scratching their heads. Neither Chance nor Jake were surprised, it was over five months ago that she’d last been to the scrap yard.
“K.P?” Jake supplied.
“Yeah! K.P! Where’d she go to, anyways?”
The two shrugged as a truck pulled into the yard. A familiar short blonde she-kat crawled down from the high-slung pick-up and bounded over to them. “Hey guys! Got any good junk?”
K.P. looked up at Jake and Chance from behind her kat-bans and winked. “K.P!” Chance chortled and picked her up in a hug.
“Where you been?” Jake asked, smiling. Burke and Murray were ignored, much to their dislike.
“Yeah, babe, where ya been?”
Chance put her down and she looked over to the dump truck drivers. “Visiting family.” She pulled off both gloves and stuffed them in the back pocket of her jeans. Burke and Murray continued to harass her with questions.
Jake was surprised, as long as he’d known her she’d kept at least one glove on. As she replied to the questions and comments from the dump truck drivers, she gestured with her paws. He noticed a nasty scar running down the palm of one of them. He remembered a scar like that.
Burke and Murray finally left, unsatisfied with Chance growling over at them, K.P.’s answers, and Jake’s obvious wishes for them to leave. Chance looked down at Jake, who had just figured out that K.P. was Katareena. He’d found out long ago though letters he and she had exchanged.
Faintly, he heard a sound like the warning system in the hangar. Katareena padded off to her truck and pulled a lap top from the floor boards. “Oh crud!” she called them over and pointed to the screen, though the two didn’t quite make out what it was she was indicating. “We’ve got trouble…”
Note: This may be the last Katareena story I write. I want to concentrate on several different story lines, the first of which being the ‘A Tail of Two Sisters’ series. Another in the works has something to do with the Infamous Pastmaster. Of course, there are un-serialized works I’m thinking of.
Then we have the usual real life intruding. I’m in my Senior year and we’re moving somewhere in the vicinity of December – and we don’t even know where (the people we’re renting from are selling the house we’re living in to family and my dad just got out of the ARMY). Right now I’m finishing my last year of school, participating in my school’s ColorGuard (NOT CHEER LEADING – NICK BALL, THIS MEANS YOU!!! ;), and filling out various forms which will just land in someone’s wastebasket – but it keeps me busy none the less.
Hmm….oh, right, and I’m also working for the SWAT Kats online, piecing together as much fan fiction information as I can to help those who want to write about their favorite cartoon. It’s coming slowly mostly because the HTML-ing takes forever plus two days. If you think you can help me with the information, please visit the site, see what I do have and what I need and e-mail me.
Page: E-Mail: http://members.tripod.com/~Klawz/index.html Klawz_Hangar@Hotmail.Com
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