So sorry I took so long in writing this, but I had a writers block . Anyway… Chapter 10 is Turmoil’s POV. I know a lot of other authors like to picture her as nothing but a bitch who wants her revenge on T-bone for betraying her. I on the other hand, decided to try and hit a more deeper part of her. Enjoy.
It has finally started to rain again. I’m the one on guard-duty this night, the SWAT Kat being the next one. He will probably need some help from the dear Deputy Mayor. Feh.
SWAT Kat… the mere name makes me think back of the time when I tried to conquer MegaKat City with my troop of female pilot-squadrons. And of…
My thoughts are blissfully interrupted as I hear steps behind me, and I quickly grasp my rifle. I recognise the tall form of Kathy though, and my shoulders slump as I relax. She regards me calmly, giving me an authorative questioning nod I know well.
“Nothing has happened the past 2 hours,” I tell her with my singing russian-american accent. She responds with another nod before she sits down next to me, taking another rifle I had just cleaned up. She examines it before giving a satisfied nod, then settles properly. I watch her for a moment, then we both settle our eyes on the rain outside. It drums peacefully against the roof of the apartment we have settled in this night.
Kathy… she is a strange woman. It is obvious she was not an authorative figure back before this.. catastrophe. But, she has quickly adapted to her surroundings, which is good. A trait with a result that deserves respect from any male or female that might be encountered. When I was taken in stealing from their food supply (I say “stealing” now. Heh. Back then, I had considered it great luck to have found such a massive food-supply. I was too starved to feel the urge to use any civilized terms), she kept her head cold and clear. I could sense the authority and power surround her like an aura even then. I guess that’s what kept me from attacking.
But, it certainly didn’t keep that foolish tom from pouncing on me as soon as he recognised me. I didn’t recognise him fully before he had me nailed to the floor and I could recognise the colors in the dark of the room. He had my arm twisted on my back, and I know he took pleasure in it despite how he never really encountered me back when… Feh, no use in thinking of such things… I only remembered the pain that flashed through my arm. Back in the old days, I had been trained to withstand any sort of pain. But, days filled with starvation and disorientation had me let out a strangled cry. That is when I first felt the power of the Boxab.
“Enough! Jake. Leave her be,” she barked sharply.
I just managed to gaze up at her, writhing in agony.
The SWAT Kat glared at her. Though I could not see it, I could feel the defiance in the gaze he sent her.
“Leave. Her. Be,” the woman repeated, her eyes narrowing with a clear warning.
The SWAT Kat looked like he was ready to growl like a rabid police-dog cheated out of getting a chance to bite into the criminal it had just caught, but he released me and got up, stepping away. As soon as I got free, I quickly got turned so I was on my back and scrambled away. Now, the blonde female was suddenly aiming her own rifle at me.
“Callie. You leave her alone too,” the Boxab said sharply.
“She has all rights to be ready to defend herself!” Jake spoke up, and I recognised his voice as that of the thin SWAT Kat. I don’t know why, but that moment I could only thing of one thing… where was his mask?
“That woman is Turmoil! She terrorized MegaKat City a few years before this!”
“I know who she is,” came the cold, clear response. “I have watched news too you know. But, in case you have forgotten, there is no difference between any of us in this hellhole.” I now kept my eyes on her as she spoke. Her voice was not raised, but you could still feel the aggravation within her tone as she spoke. But, her gaze was like her voice. Cold and clear like a sunny winter’s day. The voice of a commander.
A young boy stood next to her, and I could easily guess that the 2 were related. He couldn’t be that old… 10, perhaps 11 years old. A scrawny boy for his age, the kind of boy who should be enjoying full, healthy meals to grow strong, get smarter by doing homework, and have a good childhood by playing or watching cartoons and whatever American children do. In my day we didn’t have such luxury, but we heard stories of how children were in the Land of Freedom. Shows what we know.
The boy was like his mother, his green eyes cold and clear in alert. I decided to take my chances and perhaps have him think I was not that bad… I was once, perhaps, but this moment I was more concerned for my own interest of survival. But, having been alone for as long as I had in this nightmare of a city, I was halfway through my pleadings before I realised I was speaking in Russian. I vaguely recalled how I had been talking to myself, just to hear a decent voice. And, perhaps so I wouldn’t forget it either. I had been telling myself the old stories, of Tsar Zaltan, the tale of the Dead Princess, the Snow Maiden. And, I had been singing my country’s old songs, the Kalinka, the Cossack lullaby, the Dubinuska and the Glorious Baikal.
The woman calmly kneeled down and regarded me with a calm, examining look, while I regarded her with an alert and watchful look. Then she spoke, this time in a more gentle tone than the one she had used for her comrades.
“It’s alright,” she said. “We are not going to hurt you.”
“…How can I be sure of that?” I managed to respond, side-glancing at the SWAT Kat and blonde she-kat, both regarding me with cold, loathing glares, rifles aimed. The woman looked to the 2 and gave an annoyed sound, gritting her teeth.
“Alright, that is enough with the both of you!” she snapped, standing up. She pointed at them both. “Both of you are to go to bed. You too, David. I will have a word with her.”
Again, the SWAT Kat glared at the Boxab with the look of a rabid policedog getting cheated out of the pleasure of biting and ravaging its prey.
With glares at the both of us, the 2 shuffle off along with the young boy who looks to the woman with a calm, but concerned look. She only gives him a look and a nod. Then he nods back and leaves.
“Now..” she says, reaching a hand out to help me on my feet. “Let’s get you something to eat. The food in the cans taste better when warmed.”
Warm food… I can’t remember the last time I was treated with such… Except maybe in Alkatraz. I myself was never a terribly good cook. Only food I remember how to cook are cold, long-lasting rations. And, even so, you need water and flour for such. And, in this ‘hellhole’ like the Boxab called it… flour would be a gift from the gods, and clean, unpoisoned water would be a blessing.
Half an hour later, we sit by the fire the Boxab made to heat the meal. I give an exhausted, sated sound as I put down the fork in the dish I ate from and lean back against the wall. I note that she looks at me calmly with those green eyes of hers. In the light from the fire and the half-darkness from the room, they glimmer like emeralds.
“Do you want more?” she asks.
I shake my head.
“No, thank you.”
She only nods, and we sit in silence. For once… it’s a good kind of silence. I take my time to look around the place… study the weapons that lay ready for use, the door to the room where her comrades are asleep or awake and waiting for something catastrophic to happen. Finally, I decide to ask the question that’s been bugging me for a bit now.
“Why?” I say, looking at the woman. “Why did you stop them from attacking me?”
She looks up at me again. There’s a strange glint in her eyes I can’t judge. It’s got the intensity of the hard shine you see in a jewel in a candle-light. A chill runs down my spine.
“No one in this hellhole can be judged by their past,” she says. “We’re all doomed unless we stick together.”
“Even though I held the city’s sky hostage for 2 million gold per week?”
“You should have settled it for per 4th week. Give the Katizens time to actually earn enough money.”
I looked thoughtful aat that, and a bit surprised. Had she actually given me suggestions on how to work out a crime?
“Hmm… I never thought about that…” All the Boxab did was chuckle a bit.
“Last I heard, you were in Alkatraz,” she then said, her expression serious once more. “How did you escape?”
It didn’t take me long to answer that one.
“The vines, and monsters that the insane doctor created…” I said. “They spread all the way to Alkatraz. I don’t know how they could resist the saltwater. But, nonetheless, they did, and they wreaked havoc. I was lucky. I was in a restrainment cell while everyone else got slaughtered. I only managed to get out of my cell because the wall into my prison was wrecked by the earthquake that the giant vines created when they burst out of the ground. Took me 3 days to get from the island to the mainland. The creatures have even infected the bay now…” I gave a shudder at the memory. “It was a miracle I found a boat with a working engine..and, even then, I still had encounters with some of the creatures in the bay. I think few of them used to be fellow prisonors…”
I don’t know how long I sat and talked to her of this. But, I knew that it was good to have someone to talk to again. Eventually, I managed to eat a bit more of the food, still talking… and, eventually, I started to feel warm and comfortable, like I hadn’t for a long time. Slowly, I could feel my eyes droop, and I fell asleep by the fire, feeling safe for the first time in a long time…
The rain has stopped now, leaving behind a damp, heavy smell of green and water that makes me think of a tropical jungle. Kathy has been silent for a long while, and the same with myself. We’ve both been deep in our thoughts without a doubt, though still keeping an eye out on everything. The moon is slowly coming out, casting a pale, blue-white light over everything, glimmering slightly from the water and to every surface that has been covered by the rain. But, that soon ends as well, for the tropical heat there is this night slowly makes the water evaporate, turning it into that well-known poison green fog. A toad croaks somewhere. A cricket sings its serenade. Another joins it. And another. And another.
Soon, sounds from every creature and plant surrounds us in the night. Insects, mutated creatures, hunters attacking their prey. The prey screaming out its last dying breath before it is devoured.
“The serenade of Hell…”
“Hm?” I look to Kathy as I hear her speak. She sits, thoughtfully looking to the sky with a dark expression.
“The serenade of Hell,” she repeats. “It sounds beautiful in its own strange way… but it’s also treacherous… It hides what sounds that come close… makes ambushes easy.”
I only give a nod and a light grunt in agreement. Then we both sit, listening.
Listening to the Serenade of Hell.
Note: Boxab supposed to be Russian for “leader”.
Navigate This Author's Stories
Disclaimer: SWAT Kats: The Radical Squadron is copyright to Hanna-Barbera Cartoons Inc. All Rights Reserved. © 1995. All other characters and material within this page are the property of their respective creators.