“Differences Of The Same” by Nicholas ‘Eat Spam From The Can’ Ball
Oh, that this too too solid flesh would melt,
Thaw, and resolve itself into a dew,
Or that the Everlasting had not fix’d his canon,
In other words, I’m in a bit of a predicament. ‘What predicament?’
you may ask? You’d be better off asking ‘Which predicament?’, but
I’ll answer you anyway, being the insouciant dilletant that I am.
My predicament was what to write about in this next chapter of
‘SWAT Kats: The Gathering’. I was reading part 3, and I reached the
end, when I thought “Gee, Jade painted herself into a bit of a corner,
look at the story – the TurboKat’s in pieces! They hate each other!
Only one wish left! And the Pastmaster’s winning! I wonder how she’ll
write her way out of that…” Then I realised that it was MY
duty to write the next part. 2 weeks later I was off the anodynes, and
champing at the bit to write the next part. Sure, I didn’t know what to
write about, but who really worries about THAT little detail? I know
Steven King and John Grisham don’t…
Anyway, I was also racking my mind for some sort of in reference to
put in this story. A few more Dr Who companions? ‘Yay! It’s Adric!’
Perhaps another reference to Sam and Max? In the end, I came up
with it. I thought I’d put myself in it. Then I realised that my existance
in the story would undermine the entire SK universe and story-line as it had
been constructed so far, so thoroughly constructed by so many of you careful
workers. Obviously, I wrote myself in right away. All references to the
horror that is Magic: The Gathering are taken from scarring experiences I
have personally experienced in the past. But enough on that. I’m sure you
all want to get onto the story now. Incidentally, this story is dedicated to
all of the following people:
P.I. Hackle – For starting this series.
Jade F. Callan – For writing part 3 and for ‘being there’.
Justin Bennett – For letting me use his Internet.
My RPG pals – For helping me waste all my time so productively.
Marie Clawson – For being so nice and complimentary, dammit!
DJ Clawson – For running the archive.
Strike – For all the complex e-mails.
Me – For actually making sense for once.
You – For actually getting this far.
SWAT Kats: The Gathering – Part Four
“Differences Of The Same”
A week had passed since the ‘Ireland’ experience, but the
whole event was still fresh in Jake and Chance’s minds. Jake had not
used his last wish yet – though there had been some close encounters.
Phrases such as ‘I wish I could have seen that look on Feral’s face’
and ‘I wish I was at home watching Litterbin’ were now contraband,
and Jake often caught himself dangerously close to losing their chance
at having ANYTHING, all for a menial ‘gift’ such as having all
the auto work for that day done, or for Chance to stop pestering him.
The jet was hardly reassembled at all, and Chance would spend every free
moment pestering Jake about his ‘responsibility’, not understanding how
hard it is to give up a present of absolutely anything you ever desired,
a present that was literally one in a million, or of even higher odds,
and one you knew you would never get a chance to receive again. Jake
sighed and returned to working on the carborator.
“Could you pass me that wrench, buddy?” asked Jake.
Chance worked on in silence.
“Can you pass me the wrench, please?”
The sound of silence roared through the garage.
“Why don’t you WISH for it?”
“Right, that’s it!” Jake rarely lost his temper, but then again,
he’d never been under so much pressure before, especially from a friend.
“This has gone on far enough! I’ve had it! You’ve just nagged at me at
every living moment – ‘Why don’t you make the wish, Jake?’ ‘C’mon, buddy,
you said a few days, now make the wish’ Do you realise what kind of
pressure I’m under? This isn’t easy for me!”
“Then just make the wish, and it’ll be over and done with.”
“Rrrrr! You don’t understand! I’d like to see how you’d cope
with this heavy burden on YOUR shoulders!”
Jake and Chance now stood face to face, and they took turns in poking
the other whilst they spoke.
“Oh, yeah? I could do it” Chance poked his paw at Jake’s chest.
“Don’t tempt me, Chance…”
“Why not? What are you going to do? Wish for me to disappear?
Give it up, kat”
“Chaaannncceee….” Jake’s warning tone rose with a growl.
Chance poked Jake again.
“We need the jet. You always say ‘Wait for tomorrow, wait for
tomorrow’. We can’t ‘wait for tomorrow’ for the rest of our lives!
Make the wish! We’ve worked on the TurboKat for 3 weeks now, and we’ve
hardly got the ENGINE together! What about the weapons systems? What
about the actual jet itself? It..will..take..a..year!” He poked Jake to
emphasize each word.
“We’ve been lucky that we haven’t been needed to protect the city
over the past few weeks! Do you think they can go a YEAR without the SWAT
Kats?? Do you think FERAL and the ENFORCERS can manage? Criminey, Jake!
Once we slept in for 10 minutes too long, and the entire city had almost
fallen to Viper!” Chance poked Jake again.
“Stop that!” Jake knocked Chance’s paw aside. Chance was quickly
snapped back to his senses, and he had a terrible sense of guilt.
“Oh…sorry, buddy. I don’t know what came over me. Listen, you
go on upstairs, I’ll finish up down here” he muttered, looking down.
“No, I’ve got to get this carborator done by 4. Now can I have
“Oh..sure. I’m sorry. I guess it must be hard to make that wish.
We’ll wait until tomorrow, anyway. I just wish it was me who had
to make the wish, and not you.”
“Me too” agreed Jake.
The roaring silence of realisation deafened them.
“Oh no!” they yelled in unison.
“Did you? Did you?”
“I don’t know. I didn’t actually SAY the wish, I just….wished it”
“Oh no! Check to make sure.”
“Come on.” They stood at the edge of the hangar for a few moments,
in total silence.
“Okay…I wish…that we had our TurboKat back together, in perfect
working order, back in our hangar. No strings attached” said Jake, with
his eyes closed. When he opened them, the jet was still all in pieces.
“Damn” muttered Chance. “I suppose I’ll have to do it”
“No, we can always wait until tomorrow. Come on, let’s go”
“No, I’ve got to do this now, Jake. I’ve just realised how hard
it is to give up everything for something…and if I don’t do it now, I
don’t think I ever will…I wish that we had the TurboKat together again”
There was a flash of light, and all the parts of the TurboKat flew through
the air, as though stuck in an invisible hurricane. They all spun and
connected to each other, like clockwork. Within 30 seconds, the TurboKat
was reassembled, and looked as good as new. Better, even. Jake watched
in awe, temporarily speechless from the spectacle that he had just observed.
He thought, as Chance did, that it was the most beautiful thing he had ever
seen in his life. Eventually, Jake managed to speak.
“…That was a big thing you did then, Chance”
Chance was temporarily silent, as he thought over what he just did. His
wish was gone…was that how Jake would have felt?
“…Yeah. I don’t see how you managed to hold out for a week,
especially with me teasing you all the time about it. Sorry about that”
Jake wiped a tear from the corner of his eye, and Chance did the same.
They hugged each other tightly for several minutes. Jake was the first
to speak, minutes later. He would have spoken sooner, but he could
hardly breathe at the time.
“All’s fine now. Let’s go upstairs and watch some Scaredy-Kat.”
They walked upstairs, each respecting each other more than they could have
The two Kats sat on the couch in the main part of the garage, as
they so frequently do in these types of openings. The third person was
still being used to describe their activities. On closer inspection, it
was revealed that even the third person writing technique was being
written about in the third person writing technique, as was the revelation
that the writing style used to decribe that the writing style describing
the third person writing technique was. Similarly, the third person writing
technique was even found in the previous sentence, describing how the writing
style of the writing style that described the writing style that the style
that all of the Kat’s actions was written in, was written in the third
person narrative technique but then the author took some pills and dialogue
took over from the third person narrative style…
“Oh well. No more wishes” remarked Jake.
“Yeah, it’s a real pity. I was hoping for a reason to become
more uptight. I just wish I knew what was going on, especially at the
center of all this.” He held up a Magic card, but only briefly, as they
both vanished in a puff of smoke, allowing the card to flutter to the
Day 1, 8:30 am
Jake and Chance appeared in a large hall, filled with humans. Most of the
humans were male, overweight and of the non-athletic type. There was a long
table that stretched the hall, with many people sitting at either side. A
banner declared ’72 hour Magic: The Gathering Play-a-thon’. Jake and Chance
sat on the same side of the long, table, side by side, as they had been
sitting on the couch. There were two chairs opposite them. A man in a tuxedo
sat on the chair opposite Chance, and he rested a briefcase on the one
“Ah, Jake, Chance, so nice of you to…pop in”
“Whuh? Huh? Whuh huh?”
“You’re obviously still a little disorienated. I’ll talk to you both
whilst you adjust to your new settings. My name is John. My job is tell you”
he pointed to Chance “everything that’s going on, especially in relation
to this Magic business. Your wish was for YOU to know, though I can’t see
any reason as to why Jake shouldn’t be allowed to listen in also”
“Yes, your wish. You made another wish, remember?”
“But Chance used my last wish up. He didn’t have any more.”
“No, I’m afraid it wasn’t as simple as that. You see, when you wished
that Chance could make the wish, you actually used the wish up. The entire
universe was about to collaspe in on itself at such a paradox, but then it
realised that all could easily be fixed by slightly changing time”
“Yes, changing time. Sorry if I’m talking a bit fast, but I have to
go in about 5 minutes, and time’s against me. Anyway, when Chance picked
up his packet of cards in the field of clover, he actually got more than
he bargained for.”
“Actually, you didn’t. But Jake made his wish, and then history was
altered so that you did. You picked a four-leaved clover when you picked your
packet of cards up, just in case you were wondering. Lucky you. If you want
to look at it, I think you’ll find it in your left pants pocket, along with your
Chance rummaged through his pocket and pulled out a two-leaved clover.
“Hey, I thought you said it was a FOUR-leaved clover…”
“I did say that it was a four-leaved clover, and it WAS a four-leaved
clover. However, you made two wishes, one for the TurboKat, and one for the
explanation I’m giving you now. You, see, a leaf drops off for each wish you
make. I think I should mention at this point also, that you can’t give your
wishes to anyone else or wish for more wishes. Anyway, you’ve already spent
2 wishes, so 2 leaves have dropped off, leaving 2 leaves still on, signifying
that you have 2 more wishes. I’ll give you a moment for that thought”
There was a pause, as they kats thought the concept over in their heads.
“Okay, I wished that Chance could make the wish, and my wish came true
in the form that he got a four-leaved clover he didn’t have previously, but
was accountable for receiving, so he then got 4 wishes, and he’s already used
two, making us get the TurboKat back and for us to get the very complex
explanation we’re getting now, leaving him with two left.”
“Yes, that’s right. You understand, don’t you, Chance?”
“100 percent” he said.
“But why the rush? And what are we doing here?”
“Well, I have to walk out THAT door”, John said, pointing to a red
door “in 3 minute’s time, so that I may be attacked by thugs who believe
that I am carrying a substantial quantity of money, from the way that I
am dressed” replied John, as he tugged at his tuxedo.
“Excuse me?” asked Chance.
“Right. Now it gets…complicated. I am a man who knows of the
future and all that is going on in the world today. That is how I knew
that you two would materialise in those 2 chairs I kept empty for you,
and how I can explain your current predicament. I got my ‘special power’
of foresight and knowledge as a gift from one of the Gods. Unfortunately,
it came at a price, and that was that I gave up being a master of my own
destiny. I knew that I would have to come here in this morning with
this briefcase, wearing this tuxedo, so I could talk to you, and then get
mugged, after I walked out that door, and spend 2 weeks in hospital, seeing
as my 3rd left rib brakes off 2 minutes 39 seconds into the attack, piercing
my left lung, and making me lie there for 5 hours before the paramedics
are called by Mr Tony Sneddon of Ipswitch, who will win the lottery when aged
78, but then dies from a heart-attack from the surprise.”
The kats sat there, not knowing what to think, or say.
“I know you think it must be horrible knowing exactly what’s going
to happen to you, and being helpless to prevent it, but there’s always
the upside to it, in how I can go around performing good deeds for all of
John stood up and walked over to one particular child who was looking at
a laminated Magic: The Gathering card featuring a dragon on it. He took
out his wallet, and gave the child about 500 dollars, in exchange for the
card. Then he walked back.
“Um…are we going to need that in the future?” asked Jake, pointing
to the card.
“This? Oh, no. In five minute’s time he would have accidently slashed
his left wrist with this edge of it”. He pointed to an edge on the card,
before handing it to Jake. Jake took the card as carefully as possible,
lest he suffer the same fate. John laughed.
“No, don’t worry, Jake. I said HE would slash his wrist on it – YOU
“But I thought you said that you weren’t a master of your own
destiny” quirked Chance.
“I’m not, I’m afraid” John glanced at his watch “One minute. I am
not a master of my own destiny, but I can control OTHER’S. For instance,
I know that by giving Jake that card, I have saved that child’s life, and
have also assured that Jake win a game of Magic: The Gathering. Oh yes,
Magic: The Gathering. Now I WILL be brief. You have been transported here
because of your wish, Chance. Jake came too, but I won’t go into that now.
Here are the rules of the game “Magic: The Gathering”. Yes, it’s a game in
this world. Here they all carry replica’s of your cards, and use them in
pretend battles. The creatures on the cards don’t come to life, or anything
dangerous like that. Incidentally, whilst you are here, Chance and Jake, you
mustn’t use the REAL cards. You must play with the replica’s also. Anyway,
you are at a pretend battle tournament, and you must play any person who
sits in either of these chairs in such a pretend battle. Play by their
rules, and not your own. Due to your sudden relocation, I’m afraid that
you can’t get up from those seats, and you must sit there until everyone
in the room has left, which will occur 5 minutes after the tournament
ends – these people aren’t very sociable, I think you might have noticed.
Anyway, after they’ve all gone, Chance must use a wish to take you two back
to the garage. The last wish, however, he can use how he wishes, pardon the
pun. I’m sorry that I’ve been so brief, but I’ve got a date with destiny and
John stood up, and put the briefcase on the table in front of the two kats.
“But, wait, how long do we have to stay?”
“71 hours and 35 minutes” remarked John, without thinking
twice. “I’m afraid it only started half an hour ago.”
“Hey! You forgot your briefcase! John! John!”
John was hurrying to get to the red door. He turned and yelled over the
“The briefcase is for you! Good bye and good luck!”
And with that, he left.
The kats sat there, puzzled, for quite some time. Jake leant over and pulled
the briefcase towards him. He opened it. Inside there was food, drink,
a few magazines and a tape recorder, which was currently taping. Jake hit the
‘Stop’ button, and then the ‘Rewind’. He pushed the ‘Play’. The tape
recorder told him
“-Chance and Jake, you mustn’t use the REAL cards. You must play
Jake smiled and hit ‘Stop’, followed by ‘Rewind’. He had wanted to hear
everything that John had said a second time, and John had managed to
plan it so he had. What an amazing person.
Day 1, 12:30 pm
“C’mon, you’ve gotta do your move NOW!” persisted the adolescent.
“Why? What’s your hurry? You got A.D.D or something?” snarled Chance.
He’d spent the last 4 and a half hours playing the same kid, and he was
starting to get on his nerves. No, he was already on his nerves. In that
case, he was starting to dance on his nerves.
“Yes, I do have A.D.D” said the guy.
“…Oh, I’m sorry to hear that” said Chance, genuinly sorry.
“Don’t be – Advanced Dungeons and Dragons rules! Now do your
Chance growled and flipped a card over.
Day 1, 2:45 pm
Jake was having problems. The boy that he had to play wore glasses that had
lenses that were thicker than double-glazing, and he kept staring at Jake,
whilst he tried to learn the rules. He’d just lost his 21st consecutive
game, and kept on losing his place whilst trying to learn rule 27 a) iii).
“Heh heh, mere mortal – do you dare take on the mighty sorceror
Jake looked up from his rule book.
“Can I say ‘no’?”
“No, mortal. You cannot. Heh heh”
“Heh heh, foolish mortal. You have chosen to battle the mighty
sorceror Alvin despite your past 21 losses to him. I will make your defeat
swift this time, by using folder 14”
Alvin stood up, and picked up a folder labelled ’14’, revealing that he
had not been sitting on a chair at all, but on his folders, all of which
contained his Magic cards that he’d spent years and money collecting.
Jake shuddered at the thought of this 19 year old spending all that time
and money doing so, and went back to his rule book, to try 27 a) iii)
for the 8th time…
The Past-master watched everything through his portal. Jake and Chance
no longer hated each other…but they were enduring enough torment to
satisfy his sadistic urges for the time being. The Past-master picked
up his remote control, and changed the channel so he could watch ‘Birds
Of A Feather’ on the portal. It takes all types.
Day 1, 7:54 pm
“No, no, you have to TAP the Mana first!” lectured Ben.
“I am tapping my Mana!” Chance countered.
“No you’re not – you have to turn the cards on SIDEWAYS.”
“Oh, the card Mana!” Chance sighed and turned the cards sideways.
“No, that’s the draw pile” commented Jake, who thought, quite
scarily, that he was getting the hang of it.
“No THAT’S the draw pile, THAT’S the discard pile, and I’d prefer
it if you’d call them the Library and the Graveyard” interrupted Ben,
Jake gave Chance a puzzled look. Library? Graveyard? Chance returned the
look with one that said ‘Help me’.
Day 1, 11:09 pm
Chance leant back in his chair, reading a magazine. Jake was hunched over
the table-top, still trying to catch on.
“Look”, said Edwarde, “it’s very simple – The Black Mana ‘X’ symbol
means that the spell takes ‘X’ Black mana to perform, which in this case
is any number, plus one”
“Okay”, sighed Jake, “let’s make ‘X’ equal to negative one. Now, I
can use the spell-”
“No” said Edwarde, grabbing his paw, stopping him from touching the
spell “Let’s not. Let’s follow the rules. According to Rule 27 Part A,
Section Triple ‘i’, ‘X’ has to be equal to 10. Do you have 11 Black Mana?”
“No, you do not. So you can’t do the spell. Dimbo.”
“I’m not a dimbo.”
“Fine then – do a spell…dimbo.”
Day 2, 2:30 am
“Hey, mister! Wake up, mister!”
“Felina? S’at you?”
“Felina? I’m Sarah”
Chance woke up with a start.
“Can I play you?”
“Can I play you?”
“I…oh..um, sure. You can play me”
Chance couldn’t believe his eyes. A GIRL. A girl at a Magic: The Wondering
play-a-thon. He’d met so may weird guys, and here was a girl, a normal gi-
“Okay. I’ll be Sorceress Macarena. That’s a joke, by the way”
Sarah continued after the pause “because there’s a cool dance known as
“Haven’t you heard it? Oh, I see you’ve got a tape-recorder there.
Here I’ll put my endless loop tape of it in.”
Chance shuddered as he heard the song for the 36th time whilst playing
Sorceress Macarena. With a female – they could breed. Breed more of their
kind…he had taken some hope in the fact that none of the people he had
met that day would ever procreate – for the obvious reasons. Now, his
world was turned upsidedown….
Day 2, 9:30 am
Sorceress Macarena was still playing Chance when Jake woke up. No-one had
bothered him in the night, and he woke up feeling slightly refreshed,
though there was a song that he couldn’t get put of his head…an
annoying song whose lyrics made no sense whatsoever…in fact, the song
was playing now. Jake looked sleepily across at the tape-recorder.
“Has that thing been playing all night?”
“Yes” replied a very tired Chance. “Alllll night”
“I think it’s been subconsciously registered in my brain. I can
no longer remember my name”
“It’s Jake” said Chance. “I think. Check your wallet. That’s how
I managed to remember that my name’s “Change”.’
“Change? That doesn’t sound right”
“Of course it doesn’t sound right. You’ve been listening to the
Macarena all night”
“The Macarena? What’s the Macarena?”
“It’s the cool music that I’ve been playing” said a very
untired Sarah. She seemed to be bustling with energy.
Jake sat there, not saying anything. Chance sat there motionless also.
Sarah packed her cards up and walked off, leaving them to their mini-comas.
The tape continued to play.
“Ssss..ss..sstt..sttoop the tape” muttered Jake, not moving.
“I..I..c.cc.c.can’t” said Chance. “I..cc.cccan’t move”
“Nnn..nn..neither c.ccan I” muttered Jake.
And they sat there for 2 hours, until their brains started working again,
and one of them developed enough sensory and motor abilities to shut the
Day 2, 2:00 pm
“I’ve known of more horror-filled things” a teenager remarked
“Really?” said the stranger, putting his $265 Magic card away.
“Yeah – I heard that one of you fans actually had a girlfriend.
Though it might have been a sister. Or”, he continued, “a peculiar brother”
“You don’t like Magic: The Gathering, do you?”
“How observant. No, I don’t”
“Then why are you here? I think it would be sad if you just came
here to knock people” the stranger said, anticipating his reply.
“One of my…friends…has a peculiar taste and…likes…all of
this.” The teenager continued, waving his arm about the room.
“He encouraged me to come. I did. Now he’s off somewhere, and I’m
on my own”
“Have you ever played it?” the stranger asked.
“No. I haven’t.”
“Well, come and play it! I’ll teach you how. You’ve got to play it,
before you can spay it”
Nick walked off, after the stranger, not realising that he’d just made one
of the worst decisions of his life.
Day 2, 3:30 pm
“Good-bye! I hope you had fun! Be sure to tell your friends about
the whole world of Magic: The Gathering!”
“No” muttered Nick, as he speedily left the stranger’s presence
“because I want to keep them”
A group of Magic fans brushed past Nick, and a folder touched his shirt.
Nick made a vow to burn his clothes after this, and rushed off to the
bathroom, to splash water on his face, and make sure that he wasn’t suffering
in his own delusional version of hell after eating too many space-food sticks.
Day 2, 8:30 pm
Jake and Chance had had a reasonably quiet day. Whenever someone approached
Jake for a game, he spoke hysterical Spanish at them, which was in fact
the lyrics to the Macarena which were indeed inscribed on his brain, and
Chance managed to stop anyone from playing with him by trying to convince
them that HE was their alias. Someone approached Jake –
“Ce la homme pueto eno! Si ni hable sa en semble est en casa!!”
The person left, and Jake smiled to himself. They found it easy to scare
him, and now he found it easy to scare them. A similar challenge faced
Chance, when a 17 year old sat in the chair that faced Chance.
“Okay, let’s play. I’m Wotan Skulcrusher”
“No, no..wait. I’M Wotan Skulcrusher” Chance countered.
“Wha? What do you mean? I’m Wotan Skulcrusher.”
“Listen, I’M Wotan Skulcrusher!”
“I’M Wotan Skulcrusher!!”
“Um..um..sure you are..Wotan” the teenager stammered as he got
out of the chair.
“I wish they’d all just stay away from us!” complained Jake.
“I know! Not to worry, we’ve reached half way. I reckon we can
hang out for the rest of the-”
A person sat down in Chance’s chair.
“Let’s battle, fellow wizard! I am known as Fgtslkjlrujhselk.”
“No, no..wait. I’m Fg..Fg..Fgts..I’m you, okay?”
“I’m you. I’m the person you are”
“Oh, right. I’ve never played against myself before. I wonder
what it’s like” Sorceror Fgtslkjlrujhselk said, getting his cards out.
“I bet I’ll find out, though, because I’ve still got another 15 hours
Chance sat there, helpless. A person approached Jake’s chair.
“Ne se pullo a se hablo ci muchacho!” he urged.
“Oh, se hable espanol? Buon! Est rano in mea bideto!” said the
player, taking his cards out.
“And since you like Spanish so much, I bet you’ll get a kick out
of this. It’s an awesome tune that was originally a Spanish one. Mind if
I use your cassette player? No? Great!” the player continued in English,
placing a tape in the tape-player. A familiar tune came out the speaker.
“Oh, wow! I love the Macarena! Turn it up! Turn it up!!” said
Jake turned to Chance.
“Please kill me” he begged.
“Only if you kill me” Chance stated.
Day 3, 10:15 am
“Are you still here?” Jake asked.
“Don’t you want to go off…and play someone else?”
“No..why would I want to do that?”
“With the exception of that one game that I won at about 1:37 am
you’ve won 35 games. Don’t you get tired of keeping on beating me?
Don’t you want to play someone else? Someone better?”
“Not really…I like to keep beating you.”
Jake sighed and shuffled the cards again.
Day 3, 4:45 pm
“Is there any food left in the briefcase?” Jake asked.
“No”, replied Chance.
There was an uneasy pause.
“What IS left in the briefcase?”
“A copy of Time, Newsweek, the rules to Magic: The Gathering
and the tape recorder”
There was another pause.
“What happened to the copy of Who?”
“I ate it”
Yet another pause.
“Pass the Newsweek.”
Day 3, 11:58 pm
“Goooddd, I’mm sooo hungrrryyy” whined Chance.
“Try not to think about it” said Jake, thinking about it.
“There has GOT to be something to eat”
“Nope, the briefcase is empty” said Jake.
“Wait a minute…the briefcase!”
“Yes? What about th- no! We can’t Chance! Its inhumane!”
Chance eyed the briefcase hungrily, wondering if the leather finish tasted
“We can’t, Chance! It’s what separates us humans from the animals!
The minute that we start to eat that briefcase, the minut-”
“Jake, what did you say?”
“I said ‘The minute we start to eat that briefcase, the’-”
“No, no. Before that”
“I said…’It’s inhumane! It’s what separates us humans from
becoming animals!’ because if we-”
“Jake. We ARE animals.”
“We’re kats – we’re not humans. Look. We’re furry.”
“Oh…you’re right. I guess we ARE animals” said Jake.
“I bags the handle” he added.
Day 4, 5:59 am
Jake woke up with a start. He had barely slept at all, with his hunger
pains, but his fatigue had managed to knock him out for a few hours.
When he focused his eyeballs, he noticed that there was someone sitting
in the chair opposite him.
“Hey! Mister! Can I have that card? I’ll do anything!”
“Food…” Jake mumbled.
“Excuse me?” said Michael.
“Briefcase? Resources? What are you on about?”
“..Need…food” said Jake, weakly, and passed out again.
Day 4, 6:15 am
“Jake! Wake up!”
“Whu? Nuuhhh?” mumbled Jake.
“Wake up, Jake! Food!”
“There isn’ any. Go ba’ t’ sleep” mumbled Jake, not waking up.
“I’ve got some food! Here!” Chance shoved a few Burger Rings into
Jake’s mouth. Jake chewed slowly, then jolted awake.
“Food!!” he yelled exstatiacally.
He saw that Michael was standing there, offering him a packet of Burger
“Th..th..thank you” stammered Jake, and ate them in ravenous hunger.
“But what I didn’t know was, how did you know that we were hungry?”
Chance asked Michael.
Jake stopped eating.
“Uh..Chance..I sorta..told him about the briefcase…incident”
“…You TOLD him?”
“I was hungry!”
“So was I! But I didn’t go around telling people about the time I
reduced myself to eating a BAG!!”
“Sorry, Chance, it was the only way I could get him to get us food”
“….I s’pose. This IS better than the leather finish”, Chance said,
with a smirk.
“…..what did the leather finish taste like?” Jake asked.
“Beef jerky” Chance conceeded, “Moist beef jerky”.
“So you guys really did eat a briefcase, then?” asked Michael.
“Uhhhhh…..yeah. There were circumstances. I mean, we don’t
normally eat briefcases, you know…” Chance began.
“Yeah. We usually keep ourselves to food.”
“So what did you eat before you started on the briefcase?”
“Umm…magazines…and…other pieces of paper” said Jake.
“Yeah…I ate Who Weekly, and Jake ate Newsweek. We shared Time.”
“You…shared…Time? Uh huh.”
“Yeah” said the embarrased Chance.
“I..see…” said Michael. “Still…as long as I have my ‘Dragon Of
“My ‘Dragon of Nastyhisshissevilbadthingspushthelittledaisiesandma-
awaynow5’. You know. The card you gave me, so I’d get the food.”
“Card? What card did I give you?” asked Jake.
Michael held up the card that John had bought earlier for 500 bucks.
“Oh, THAT!” said Chance “You can have THAT!”
“Yeah, I know. That’s why I got the food.” observed Michael, matter-
“…How much is the card worth?” asked a suspicious Chance.
“In this condition…300 bucks. Tops.”
“THAT card is worth 300 bucks? And you got it for 5 bucks worth
“Easy, Chance. We got the chips, didn’t we?”
“Yeah, but not through the goodness of his heart, but through the
fact he knew he’d make his money back 100 times!”
“Yeah…it does seem sort of leacherous, doesn’t it?”
“Welcome to the real world” Michael said, and walked off, smarmy
“Can’t wait to get back to ours” muttered Jake.
“Ditto, buddy” muttered Chance, and went back to sleep.
Day 4, 8:13 am
Jake woke up with a start, expecting to have to face another teenager in
5 hours worth of Magic games, but was, to his delight, wrong. The entire
hall was empty, expect for his partner, snoring heavily, next to him.
“Wake up, Chance!”
Chance snored all the louder.
“Chhaannnccee! Wake up!”
“I’ll play you in a second. Tap the mana.”
“Chance! It’s me!”
“Huh? Whu? Whu – oh, hi Jake. What?”
“Look around you”
“What? I don’t – they’ve gone! I can’t believe it! They’ve all gone!
We won, Jake! We won!” called Chance exstatically. His voice echoed
throughout the hall.
“Yes, we won. Now can we PLEASE go home?”
“We won! We won!! They tried to bring us down with scary teenagers,
briefcases and the Macarena, but we still won!”
“Chance – home”
“We’re the Magic SORCEROR’S, and we lost to all those Magic players,
and we still won!”
“Huh?…Of course! I wish that we were back at home!”
And in a puff of smoke, they were.
Jake and Chance materialized on the sofa. It took them a minute to get their
thoughts together, but seeing as their thoughts consisted of desires to
use the toilet, eat and sleep, it was no major loss to them. Their happiness
was boundless, and everywhere they moved, they danced. There was no silence,
as they hummed happy tunes as they moved about their abode, almost yelping
with joy as they came across another convenience that they had been
deprived of over the past few days. Jake was in love of the concept of
owning a bed, and Chance almost died with delight at the sight of the
refridgerator. Then they looked out the window.
“Oh…krud” was all Chance could say, before he passed out.
“Ditto” Jake affirmed when he saw it, and joined his partner in
Endun Auf Ze Parte Forre: NEXT!!!!
Post-scriptum: Nicholas would like to apologise to any fans of ‘Magic: The
Gathering’ who have been offended by this piece of fiction, and reassures
them that he does pity the fact that they are all social dysfunctuates.
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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.