CHAPTER 9: CLOSE TO TARGET
Black like a night without a moon or stars….
I can’t breathe! I.. I…
“David….wake up, little one…”
David woke up with a choked gasp, sweat having his fur soaked enough for it to have his hair clinging to his eyes. His dad, who was holding him close, gently brushed the hair out of his eyes and kissed his cheek. “Did you have a bad dream, champ? You were squirming so much….”
David could only whimper and buried his face into his dad’s chest.
Elrod soothingly brushed his fingers through the kitten’s black hair and nuzzled his nose against the kitten’s ears. Soon, the kitten was asleep again, this time more peacefully. The grown kat sighed as he held the kitten and leaned against the cold wall in the sewers. Just a few hours ago he had been grabbed by large slimy tentacles that had belonged to his most trusted plantimal, Fungusface.
The plant-creature had eagerly been at its old master’s service and had somehow managed to tell Elrod how Nexus had arrived at Elrod’s former hideout, where he had lived in his time as Viper, and had taken complete control of the plantimals residing there. Elrod had not been surprised. With his looks and his great powers of magic, it was easy to manipulate a simple-thinking creature like a plantimal to do his full bidding. Fungusface had not been around to experience it, but he had felt the change the other plantimals had gone through.
And at this moment now, as Elrod was now continuing his way towards the Mayor’s office, oblivious of how Nexus had battled the Pastmaster and had been caught by the SWAT Kats, Fungusface was on his own way towards the Purvis family’s home, in order to protect all of those who Elrod and David cared for. Especially Kathy with her unborn kitten.
Nexus lay still in the bomb-bay of the Turbokat, eyes closed and arms tied close to his body due to the missile the SWAT Kats had caught him in. He had given up struggling, screaming and threatening minutes ago, due that it just didn’t have any effect! The SWAT Kats had ignored him or told him to shut up, so in the end he had complied and silenced, in his mind cursing Syphon for disobeying his orders and plotting his revenge against the Marekat. Revenge would indeed be sweet….
A quiet hissing reached his ears, and he opened his eyes, staring into the dark of the bomb-bay, and there he saw them. Demons. There seemed to be about fifty or so, small, black and eyes glowing in different shades of gold, red or green. He knew they were sent by Hei Ying and in his mind he praised and thanked his goddess for this.
[“Untie me, demons of Hei Ying. Then bring down this infernal jet with its pilots!”] The demons did as ordered, and a few of them slithered over and started gnawing in the cables keeping the Knight captured, while the others started to scratch, bite and gnaw into the metal and wires of the Turbokat.
As soon as Nexus got free, he smirked and petted one of the demons on the head.
[“Well done, Demon-spawn. Now! Spread chaos and confusion all over this city! Bring an end to its existence!”]
Then, he seemed to melt into the shadows of the dark bomb-bay, before he fully vanished.
It was a beautiful day at the MegaKat City Golf Course. Its former mayor, George Manx, was peacefully spending his day practising his swings and putting. As he had by now reached the 14th hole, he carefully placed the ball on the ground, then gave it a light bat with the club. The white ball rolled across the ground, then juuuuust before it was supposed to go into the hole, it stopped. Manx scoffed and made a frustrated stomp before he started to head for the hole.
Then a clawed arm emerged from the hole.
The arm grabbed the ball and *yanked* it into the hole.
Then an enormous *CRUNCH* followed by a dry chewing sound was heard before ending in a dry *BELCH*.
In situations like these, Manx only knew *one* thing to do.
He turned on his heel and ran, no SPRINTED back to his golf-car, wailing:
“HAAAAAAAAAAALP!! A DAEMON ATE MAY GALF-BAAAAWWWLL!!”
The demon which had eaten the ball and was now picking its teeth with a golf- tee, snickered.
Screams of fright and agony chimed through the air, the sky covered in black and dark-grey clouds as a storm was coming. Nexus watched it all from the top of a skyscraper, his teeth bared in a merciless grin. The screaming and howling came from both mortal kats and horrifying demons that were attacking the kats, spreading chaos and confusion. Some kats were not lucky, and their blood gave the rough concrete and below them a scarlet color.
As he kept watching this, he felt several souls disappear. Either to Heaven, Hell…or, for those really unlucky, to the realm of Hei Ying. Suddenly, something gave a slight *ting* inside of him. Frowning, Nexus looked for the source of it and found that it came from the outskirts of the city. He closed his eyes and chanted, a large pair of black and midnight-blue wings spreading out. Jumping off and catching an updrift in the wind, he took flight towards the source.
David Samuel Peterson was 85 years old. His fur had, as time had passed, gone from a healthy soft brown color, to a dull grey. His tired green eyes were closed and his hands were folded on his chest, where his heart was beating weakly.
He opened his eyes, feeling someone standing next to his bed. Looking to the side, he saw a tall, dark-clad figure and his eyes widened in shock. The figure lifted a hand.
“Don’t have fear, David Samuel. I am here to bring you to your eternal bliss.”
David Samuel blinked as he sat up… and gasped in shock, seeing how his body stayed in the bed.
“I…I am dead!?” he whispered hoarsely and in disbelief as the dark figure helped him out of the bed.
“Yes. You have lived a long life, David Samuel. Your heart couldn’t take it anymore and stopped a few minutes ago.”
Hearing this filled David Samuel with a sadness so great, he felt the pain in his chest even though he knew he was dead. He looked sadly back at his body, then up on the dark figure which he knew was Death.
“But, you can’t take me now!” he whispered, silvery-grey tears cornering up in his eyes. “My greatest wish is to see my grand-child, David, just for one last time… He was mutated a few months ago, you see… His parents are so worried about him….”
“You will see him again soon,” Death said in a soft and gentle voice. A bony hand gently took David Samuel’s, and they stepped into a dark tunnel where light was at the end.
“Come now… come and rest…. your soul is tired and you deserve to sleep.”
“Rest… yes… that sounds… nice…” David Samuel murmured tiredly.
Nexus frowned as he stopped in midair, his wings keeping him up as he looked around. The feeling that had haunted him had vanished again! Strange….
“Hrmph. Nevermind,” he muttered as he dove down towards the city in a spiral.
“I have better things to tend to.”
“Arhichia gh’wumquonali zrykuanirea….” the Pastmaster chanted as his eyes were closed in concentration, his skeletal hands on the orb.
Callie watched anxiously as the glass around her began to swirl around in different colors. First red, then green, then slowly toning to purple. Nicky watched from his place by a large bookshelf, his ears perked to attention and his tail twitching. He knew the importance of it all and, if his teacher needed his help, he would be sure to give it.
“…Echtumi KALLAH!!” the sorcerer bellowed suddenly, and a flash erupted from the orb, blinding both Nicky and the Pastmaster.As the light died down however, and they both regained their sight, the ancient sorcerer cursed as there had been no change in the orb at all! Callie was still trapped inside of it, helplessly looking out through the surface of her glassy prison.
Nicky watched with worry as the Pastmaster stomped over to his bookshelf, cursing and muttering under his breath.
Callie said nothing as she sat down with a sigh, looking down on her hands. It had been hours where spell after spell had been cast on the orb, one blinding flash after the other. And, her own hope for freedom shrinking with each failure. Looking up, she saw Nicky, the Pastmasters young apprentice, smile assuringly at her.
“Don’t worry, Mrs. Clawson-Briggs…the Pastmaster can get you out…” he turned his head as the Pastmaster let out an even more foul cursing than before.
“I can’t believe it!!” the ancient sorceror snarled, furiously slamming the book shut. “It is impossible!!”
“What? What is it!?” Callie asked as she stood up, worry clear on her face.
The Pastmaster closed his eyes as he replaced the book on the shelf. “A spell cast by a Knight of the Apocalypse can only be undone by a Knight of the Apocalypse. Not by a sorcerer, wizard or mage. *Only* by a Knight of the Apocalypse….” he sneered darkly, teeth bared in fury.
Nicky frowned. To him, there was no spell, curse or incantation that the Pastmaster couldn’t do or undo. Hearing this kind of news worried him. He opened his mouth to say something, when-
Callie screamed, and the Pastmaster yelled as something caused the window to explode inwards, sending shards of glass everywhere. Nicky yelped as part of the glass cut his arms as he protected his face with them, kneeling on the floor by the orb. Callie had, in pure reflex, cowered on the bottom of the orb, protecting her head with her arms. In through the broken window came a winged minotaur-golem, its dead clay eyes glowing a furious red as it entered, glaring around the sorcerer’s study, before its gaze settled on the orb containing the curled up form of the city’s mayor.
As the Pastmaster raised his watch to cast a spell that would knock the golem off course, the creature lunged out, grabbing him by his collar and lifted him up in the air, before sending him out of the window. A cry of surprise and anguish escaped him as the ground rushed towards him with frightening speed. A gagging sound escaped his mouth as his flight came to a swift stop, the claws of a wyvern digging roughly into his shoulders, the reptile-ish creature basking upwards on leather-wings, hoarse shrieks escaping its throat. The golem itself was once again in the window, holding the orb in one large hand the size of a shovel, large wings spread out, ready to take flight. The sorceror caught a glimpse of Nicky laying against the wall, mercifully unconcious from a strike the golem had given him as he had tried to protect the orb, but to no use. The golem was far too strong.
The Pastmaster watched helplessly as the golem took off into the darkened sky, Callie screaming in fear. He was tempted to follow, knowing somehow that what awaited Callie was a part of a devilish plan that Nexus had thought up. But, no. He was forced to stay behind to make sure that Samantha’s kitten was not deathly wounded. With a motion from his skeletal hand, the wyvern flew close to the broken window, and the Pastmaster landed on the floor inside, rushing towards the kitten.
One way or the other, it all depended on Elrod now.
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.