Original SWAT Kats Story

Choices

By Pen

  • 3 Chapters
  • 45,735 Words

(Unfinished) T-Bone and Razor fight Dark Kat, unaware that he has lain a trap to get rid of them forever.

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Chapter 1

The Trap

Sunlight filtered through the dirty windows of Chance and Ja[TGF1]ke’s Garage, located in the middle of Megakat Salvage Yard. The main garage door was open, allowing a small breeze to waft through the rickety building, but giving little relief from the intense heat of summer in Megakat City.

“Hey Jake, paw me a wrench willya?  I gotta problem with this wankle rotary engine here,” Chance Furlong called from underneath a white ’87 Chevy station wagon.  Slick brown grease covered his blond paws as he held one out to receive the needed tool.  With his other paw, he mopped the sweat from his forehead with a rag.

“Hold on a sec, Chance, let me get this transmission …” Jake Clawson forced through clenched jaws as he tried to put a part into place.  He was bent over a car, under the hood.   His hand slipped, and he let out a yelp of pain as a piece of metal sliced his paw, ” … finished.  Damn.”

“You okay, bud?” Chance inquired.  He had already retrieved the wrench himself, and looked, brow furrowed, at Jake.  Jake fetched the handkerchief from his back pocket and wrapped it around his hand to stop the bleeding.  “I hope that rag was clean,” Chance muttered.

Jake shrugged.  “It’ll be okay, just a little cut.  I am going to clean my hand up a little, then I will finish up on this Escort,” he said, motioning towards the red Ford he had been working on.

“Are you sure that doesn’t need stitches, it looks pretty deep,” Chance asked, stepping towards the sanguine kat, while wiping his own arms off.  The grease had reached towards the brown tiger stripes halfway up Chance’s arms.  It had begun to clot his fur.

“Naw, it should be fine,” Jake said, wincing slightly as the bulky kat took his injured paw and gently probed the cut.  Chance looked worried as he saw that the cut ran diagonally across his friend’s paw halfway in between his thumb and pinkie claw.  “I just need to wash it out before it gets infected.  I am pretty sure that oil isn’t good for cuts.”  The corner of Jake’s mouth slid up the side of his face, curling around the prominent side burns. Chance shrugged as Jake climbed the stairs to get to the upstairs bathroom, cradling his injured right paw tenderly in his left.

Chance returned his attention to the station wagon as he slid back under the car on the mechanic’s dolly.  He heard the water running upstairs through the thin walls of the garage-domicile. Chance glanced over to the work area to find that there a small puddle of coagulating blood on the floor from Jake’s hand.  “Kat, he cut it worse than I thought he did,” he thought.  “Maybe I should go up and check on him.”

At that moment, Jake walked down the stairs, still favoring his injured paw as he held onto the banister with his left.  His paw was wrapped in white surgical gauze; it was apparently not enough as a small red stain was already starting to spread on the outside of the bandage.

“Hey Jake,” Chance said,  “Are you sure you don’t want to have anyone look at that paw.  It’s still bleeding.”

Jake looked at Chance, then at his hand. “It’ll be fine, Chance. I have enough pressure on that thing right now, it should stop momentarily.”  Chance looked at him, cocking an eyebrow and curling up the corners of his lips.  Seeing the look of disbelief his friend was giving him, Jake reassured him with a look in the eye.  “Really.”

Chance shook his head.  “I would feel better if someone would look at that.”

Jake rolled his chocolate eyes.  “Yes, Dad.  C’mon Chance, let it be … ” The alarm klaxon interrupted Jake.

Chance took off for the hanger and slid down the ladder.  Jake was close on his heels.  “Yes, Ms. Briggs?”

Deputy Mayor Calico Briggs’ voice filled the hanger.  She was nearly shouting, and Chance could hear screaming and screeching in the background.  The worry in Callie’s voice was unmistakable as it wavered.  Yells and pleads of help continued in the background as Callie blurted out her latest dilemma.

“T-Bone, please, you have to help us,” Callie pleaded, her voice cracking.  The volume of her voice lowered slightly as if she glanced over her shoulder fearfully.  Chance looked at Jake.  His bushy eyebrows furrowed, while at the same time his large dark green eyes flashed widened, and flashed his partner worry.  His ears perked up and swung forward in cautious curiosity.  Callie had asked for the SWAT Kats help in dangerous situations many times before, but she always calm about it.  Something was definitely wrong.

“What’s the matter, Ms. Briggs?”  Chance’s tail made quick, abrupt movements as it jerked worriedly.

“T-Bone, please, please, you have to help us!” Callie’s voice wavered cracked again.  She was nearing sobs.  Jake had opened his locker and had begun to put on the distinctive blue flight suit as quickly as possible, his own tail making haphazard figure eights in the air, his ear plastered against his head.

“We will, Ms. Briggs,” Chance tried to soothe, but a pit was beginning to open in his stomach.   “we just need to know where you are.  We will be there.”

“C-c-c-city hall. Please … come qui…” There was a distinct thump, and the transmission was cut off, surrendering the hangar to the persistent buzz of static.  Chance turned to his partner, whose brow was furrowed underneath the mask he wore.  Both were clearly upset by Callie’s pleas for help.  He gingerly slipped his glove over his injured paw.  Chance noticed that it was still bleeding before Razor could hide it from him.  The larger kat approached the lockers and reached for Razor’s paw to inspect it again.

A quick jerk took Razor’s hand out of the reach of Chance. “C’mon Chance, we haven’t got all day.  You heard how upset Callie was,” Razor changed the subject before Chance could say anything about his hand. “I’ll go warm up the jet.”

Razor jumped up onto the wing, and then into his weapons manager seat.  Moments later, T-Bone took his place in the pilot’s seat.  As the platform lowered, and the Turbokat streaked out from the underground hanger, Razor looked down at his hand.  The glove was placed on crookedly, in order to account for the heavy bandages.  His paw was uncomfortable, and he tried adjusting the glove.  When he lifted it up, he saw that the red stain had spread, and grown larger. “Maybe Chance was right,” he thought.  “Maybe I should have gotten it stitched up.

“Naw, that would have meant I would have missed the call from Callie,” he argued with himself.  “I couldn’t exactly leave as they were sewing up my paw, could I?  T-Bone would have had to handle this on his own, and I would have missed the fight.”

Something foreboding clicked in the back of his head as the Turbokat sliced the humid afternoon air.  “Exactly.  I would have missed part of the fight.”

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*****

Dark Kat leaned back in the mayor’s plush seat and glared out the window.  His eyes narrowed as he looked out across Megakat City, realizing that it would all be his.  His Dark Kat City.  He would be free to do with it as he pleased, and no one would dare say a word. A corrupt smirk spread slowly across his face as he locked the fingers of his hands behind his hooded head.  He crossed his massive legs. His Dark Kat City.  He chuckled to himself, a deep, contaminated laugh coming from within the depths of his massive, hollow chest.  He liked the sound of that, Dark Kat City.

All he had to do was get rid of the SWAT Kats, and everything would be his.  He frowned at the remembrance of the two vigilantes, his face regaining its usual countenance.  He and they were more alike than they realized.  It would be petty of Dark Kat to want the city out of simple greed.  That wasn’t the way he functioned.  He wanted order.  He had seen the dredges and outcasts of society be marched in front of his judge’s bench every single day for nearly twenty years of his life.  He had seen those foolish enough to question the rules and regulations set for them by society.  He had seen them rebel; he had seen them hurt others; he had seen them punished by his own huge hand as much as the law would allow.  All dredges of society who would dare to attempt to break the sacred laws of this society should be sent a message, he decided: Break the law, don’t expect to live.  His face curled into a nasty grin, and a single eyebrow stalked up his forehead.  Everyday thieves and murderers and rapists marched past his bench.  It was his job to get rid of those kind of kats, as it was the SWAT Kats job.  And everyday, he would see another thief, murderer and rapist be set free because of a glitch or loophole in the system.  His eyes narrowed, and the smirk disappeared, to be replaced by a hard frown.  So many were marched across his courtroom, all the faces blended together; individual faces were no longer recognizable.  Some had pleaded for forgiveness. Some had pleaded for understanding.  Their families were starving, they said; they needed the food, they said.  He had laughed at them, dismissing their excuses with a wave of his imposing claw. Dark Kat scowled.  When he saw the same faces day after day after day come before his bench, none sorry for the crime they had committed, he was convinced that the only way to get rid of this scum was to do it his way … no other way seemed to work.  The Enforcer’s, the supposed “guardians” of Megakat City, were useless.  They thought him evil and crazy.  He again chuckled.  They thought his terroristic. They didn’t realize that he was trying to do their job for them.  He would bring ultimate and complete control over the city.  And, in order to make an omelet, some eggs must be inevitably broken.  No more crime … no one would dare cross Dark Kat.  “The ends,” he thought, “always justify the means.”  He and the SWAT Kats were very alike.  “We both fight for a crimeless society,” he thought.  “I just go about it in more … unconventional means.”  He laughed again.

His mind returned to the SWAT Kats, and his plan to get rid of them.  They were the only wrench left in the machine.  He smirked. It was a wrench that was about to be broken.

It was a simple plan, really.  It was one he had used before, but because of the bumbling of the Metalikats and Dr. Viper, he rolled his eyes as he thought of the idiots, it had not worked.  “They will be the first to go,” he growled.  He had realized that all he had to do was capture one of the SWAT Kats, and the other one would play into his paws.  It would be difficult to get the large one … he believed his name to be T-Bone … he stayed in that damn jet too much.  He had fought T-Bone hand to hand before and had found him, with much dismay, a formidable adversary.  His mind turned to the other one.  The smaller one, Razor, would be so much easier to capture.  He left the jet so much more, going wherever needed.  That kat was sneaky, quick, and accurate, but he lacked the strength of his partner, making him an easier target.  He would need to be kept under close watch.  Dark Kat knew he would have to be contained as soon as he was captured.  Dark Kat grinned at the word “contained.” It could mean so many different things, to so many different people. He knew the SWAT Kat would not be enjoying his stay.

Part One of Dark Kat’s plan was already underway.  He had to capture the SWAT Kats’ attention.  That was simple enough, attack their lovely little deputy mayor, Callie Briggs.  They would come running, they always did.  That would contribute to the downfall of the SWAT Kats.  They were too damned predictable.  He hadn’t known about her little communicator until one of his creeplings found her talking into it.  The creepling had compensated by knocking her out and taking it. He picked the communicator off the mayor’s desk. Turning the newly acquired device over in his hand, Dark Kat found himself intrigued by it.  It was very high tech.  Apparently there was a brain between one of the SWAT Kats’ ears.  He hoped it was Razor.  It was torture to have a once talented brain be hazy, and a once strong body be weak.  It would make the whole ordeal even more fun.

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*****

Callie Briggs moaned and rolled over, sending a shooting pain through her skull.  She carefully sat up, her head pounding, and her vision swimming.  She felt the matted blond hair around her temple and pulled her paw away to reveal blood.  She felt the slow, deliberate streak of blood coagulating over face, slowing as it reached her painfully bruised cheekbone.  She  hoped she didn’t have a skull fracture.  Her head was throbbing. In time, she became aware of a warmth leaning up against her, and found Mayor Manx passed out. She could see two of him as her vision swam.  She leaned her back against the wall of the secretary’s office.  She swiveled her head over to her left dizzily and found the secretary’s dry eyes vacantly staring up at her.  His mouth was hinged open part of the way.  A dry trickle of blood was caked onto the light brown fur on his cheek. Callie gasped slightly and backed up against the wall in an attempt to get away from the body.  Callie couldn’t stop staring at the dark, soulless eyes of the kat.  They had called out to her for help, pleaded with her to do something.  They were wide with terror, his tail swishing madly in the background.  Callie shuddered, and looked away painfully.  She had been watching as he was killed, and was helpless to do anything.  She had called the SWAT Kats after the execution-like stabbing by Dark Kat.  She was frantic and panicked. She had never seen another kat killed in front of her eyes before.  A creepling discovered it and knocked her out.  A tear formed in her azure eyes as she thought of his kittens, once motherless, now fatherless also.  She only hoped her call had been enough to bring Razor and T-Bone here.  If ever Megakat City needed help, it was now.

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*****

Dark Kat stood in front of the windows in Manx’s office, his claws folded neatly behind him.  He yawned as a chopper fly by, admonishing useless threats.  He recognized Commander Ulysses Feral’s voice over the megaphone, and rolled his eyes. As Feral flew by, Dark Kat simply extended his middle finger and flicked him off.  The Enforcers bored him.  It was the SWAT Kats he wanted.

A sonic boom above him signaled the coming of the Turbokat.  Dark Kat watched as the sleek black jet streaked across the hot summer sun and doubled back towards City Hall. Dark Kat scowled at the jet. “CREEPLINGS!” his voice boomed from the office.  A squadron of the small, purple bat creatures crowded into the room, flying the through the door from the secretary’s office.  They squawked and fought each other for position.  “SILENCE!” Again, Dark Kat’s voice filled the room.  “Guard our ‘guests’,” he said with contempt, motioning towards the mayor and the deputy mayor in the outer office.  “You eight,” he barked, pointing to those nearest to him.  “Come with me to the Vulture,” he said, storming out of the room, his feet shaking the floor.  “We need to get one of those SWAT Kats out of that Turbokat of theirs.”  As he entered the outer office, he glared at Callie. His eyes narrowed and his lips curled up sourly as he stormed to the door.  “Damn, this is fun,” he thought to himself, before continuing to give orders to the creeplings.  “Once he is out of the jet, get the smaller SWAT Kat.  I don’t care how, or in what condition, just take him alive.”  He stopped in mid-stride as the Creeplings crashed into him.  He turned to face them, a single claw extended.  “On, second thought, take him harmed, but alive.  I have delightful plans for him.”  The creeplings nodded, then fell over themselves to follow their master up the elevator to the roof.  He sneered.  “Yes, delightful plans,” he hissed, anticipation the second part of his plan.  “Part Two is about to begin.”

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*****

Callie watched, petrified, as Dark Kat stormed out of the room, with several Creeplings trailing behind him. She wondered what Dark Kat was capable of.  Her glassy blue eyes showed concern as she glanced over to the mayor, still out cold.  She hoped Manx would stay that way.

What Dark Kat said as he left the room troubled Callie.  Dark Kat was going after Razor.  Her tail moved vaguely across the hardwood floor. She shifted against the thin, tight wire wrapped around her wrists and ankles, aggravating the blue-purple bruises already forming.  She felt a stream of blood dry up against the fur on her thumb.  As much as she hated to admit it, in a one-on-one fight with Dark Kat, Razor would not stand a chance.  Razor was the “sureshot.” Strength was T-Bone’s department.  A pit formed in her stomach and tears welled up in her wide, but unfocused eyes.  She was the reason they were coming.  She knew they would, she was the one who called them.  Her tail lay still on the floor, and her ear sagged down to her hair.  Callie let out a high-pitch sigh and let her shoulders fall.

The Creeplings, interrupted by Callie’s sigh, looked up from the game of “Try to staple each other” they had been playing.  A small creepling, with already four or five staples in his left wing, and one on his nose, cocked his head and furrowed his eyebrows, as if in deep thought.  He decided that Callie wanted to play, too, and threw the stapler at her. he ducked, but the stapler cracked up against the wall, and landed on Callie’s previously injured head.  She let out a yelp as another searing pain shot through her head, causing her to see spots before her eyes.  The darkness of each individual spot grew into one blanketing black as Callie was again unconscious.

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*****

“Back off, SWAT Kats, the Enforcers will handle this!” cried Feral from his chopper.

“Ahh, Jesus, Feral, don’t you ever get tired of saying that?” T-Bone mocked, annoyed with the Commander’s oft-spoken line.

“Listen, you vigilante scum bags …”    “Hey, watch it, Feral!”  T-Bone growled, ” We do more for this city than … ”

“Than to let the Deputy Mayor and Mayor just rot in there,” Razor finished for him, scowling in the mirror above T-Bone as well as focusing the attention back to the situation at hand.  He switched to the private frequency between the two of them.  “Hey, buddy, I am worried about Callie too, but yelling at Feral won’t get shit done to get her out of there, no matter how much he deserves it.”

T-Bone was silently fuming in the pilot’s seat.

In a near-by chopper, Felina silently praised Razor for interrupting the argument.  There was no telling what would have stopped Feral and T-Bone from arguing.  She listened as the static cleared from the radio.

“What is the situation, Lieutenant?” T-Bone asked, directing his conversation to Felina..  Although his voice was significantly calmer, it still had a slight edge of anger to it as he forced it through clenched teeth.

“Dark Kat has taken control of the building,” Felina briefed, ignoring her uncle’s orders otherwise.  “Manx and Briggs are inside. We cannot see them, so we have to assume they have been taken hostage.  There is no word on causalities or injuries, or even how many kats are in the building.”

“Are we going to get a count anytime soon?” Razor sighed.  He scratched his head, trying to think of a way to get those civilians out.

“All communications with inside the building have ceased.  No phones, no email, no nothing.  It will take a while to get records on who was supposed to be working today, and then call all those families.  Dark Kat has that place sewn up tighter than a virgin’s chastity belt.”  Felina heard a small chuckle on the other end.

“Nice analogy, Lieutenant,” complimented Razor, slightly shaking his head as he chuckled, allowing a smile to spread across his face.

Felina smiled.  “Thanks, I thought of it myself.”

“I hate to interrupt the flirting, you two,” T-Bone blurted, “but we all have a job to do.  We can’t risk a fire fight, not in the middle of the city.  It would be turned to a huge pile of rubble!”

“The SWAT Kat is right,” Feral seethed.  “We need to get into that building, now!”

“But how, Uncle.  We can’t blast our way in, there are too many innocent lives at stake.  And we Enforcers are not known for our stealth.”

“Maybe not you guys,” T-Bone offered, “But the SWAT Kats are.”

“NO!  Absolutely not!  I will not let the fate of the mayor and deputy mayor be up to two lowlife hotshots who don’t know their right paw from their left!”

T-Bone opened his mouth to retort, but Razor unbelted himself, and leaned over the seat in front of him.  With his left hand, he promptly shoved his Glovatrix into the T-Bone’s mouth.  “If you have a better idea, Commander, we would love to hear it.”  Razor said politely, grinning as T-Bone spit out the leather and metal.  T-Bone spit out Razor’s Glovatrix, and glared into the rearview.  Razor shrugged innocently, then smiled maniacally when T-Bone looked away.

Silence was the only thing Razor heard as he waited for a response from Feral.

“What do you guys have in mind?” Felina answered for her uncle.

“Simple, really.  T-Bone and I sneak in, and while Dark Kat and his pet Creeplings are being occupied, you guys come in and take the building back.”  Razor shrugged.  “Simple, safe, and efficient.”

“Dark Kat would get suspicious if he didn’t see your *jet* somewhere,” Feral spat.

“Good point, Commander,” Razor agreed.  “So, T-Bone stays in the jet, and I go in the building and keep Dark Shit and his pets busy.” Razor ignored the look T-Bone was giving him in the rear view. T-Bone motioned to his right paw.  Razor looked down to his own paw. The bandages were still red, but they had stopped the bleeding.  It still throbbed, though.  He knew he had to be careful, or it would start to bleed again.  He gave a claws-up to T-Bone.

“You can’t do it alone.  I will go with you,”  Felina volunteered.

“But Lieutenant … ” argued Razor.

“No Felina … ” ordered Feral.

“Screw both of you, I am going.”  Felina finished the argument.

“Damn Lieutenant,” T-Bone jabbed at Felina, “You may look like a pilot, but you sure have a sailor’s mouth.”

“Heads up, all of you,” Feral’s voice boomed over their connection breaking their small jokefest.  “Here comes a jet, and creeplings at ten, twelve, and two o’clock.  Enforcers, be ready!” Feral barked over a separate frequency as the bulky jet streaked towards them.  Its nose hooked downward, ending in a point, like the beak of a vulture.  The wing span was enormous, with the wings tipped in a dark disgusting shade of purple slightly mixed with green.  The tail spanned out nearly the length of the wings.  It was edged with sanguine red paint that jutted into an almost feather-like design. Compartments underneath the body of the vessel, under with the wings, housed the “landing gear,” two purple, leg-like armored protrusions that would grab onto the ground in red talons.

“Looks like your plan is going to have to wait a little, Sureshot,” T-Bone said, strapping on his oxygen mask and glaring at Dark Kat’s vehicle.  “We got company.”

“That’s an affirmative.  We can take care of these pests, and then get on with our plan.”

“One thing at a time, Razor, one thing at a time.  Face’em them head on, or dodge and weave?”

“Dodge and weave.  Let’s see what he is up to,” Razor said, his voice sounding hollow  through his oxygen mask.

“You got it.”  T-Bone banked the Turbokat to the left and circled around City Hall, trying to draw Dark Kat’s attention.  The vulture took the bait and followed close behind    T-Bone violently jerked the stick to the left, causing the Turbokat to fly vertically in between two buildings.  Dark Kat weaved around the building.

“Get out of the city, and quick T-Bone.  If we can get rid of him in the air we’ve done our job.”

T-Bone nodded silently as he opened the throttle and streaked towards the city limits.

Razor watched silently as the tall buildings of concrete and metal thinned out.  He kept his eye on Dark Kat, becoming suspicious when he followed them, but fired no missiles.  Dark Kat had left the Creeplings with him behind to take care of the Enforcers.  “What has he got up his sleeve?” Razor asked aloud.   The buildings eventually melted into the rolling hills and lush forests of Megakat Golf Course.  “Good, T-Bone,” he muttered.  “Let’s fight here.  We save Manx, then he has a heart attack because his golf course was destroyed.”

T-Bone only grunted.

In his Vulture, Dark Kat was smiling.  A hyper Creepling was jumping up and down beside him, spasmodically pointing out the window at the Turbokat.  “I know, my Creepling, I know,” Dark Kat spoke to his pet, “I could take them out now.  But, if there is anything I have learned, it is that one would take down any missile his pilot couldn’t dodge.  Besides, the plan I have now is too much fun to pass up.”  He looked out the slanted eye-like windows and smirked.  “Not everyone can claim that they tortured a SWAT Kat.”  His smile slithered across his face and his eyes narrowed. Dark Kat patted the head of the Creepling.  It continued to jump, but this time it pointed back in the direction of the city.  “I know, I am leaving the building wide open.  We shall go.  I just wanted to show off my new toy,” he grinned.

The SWAT Kats stared dumbfounded as Dark Kat’s jet streaked back to Megakat City.

“Razor.  I’m on his tail.  We gotta take him down now, before he gets back to the city.”  T-Bone pulled the Turbokat into a tight curve, coming up right behind the massive black craft.

“Buzz saws locked.  Away!” Razor shouted.  He watched as the missiles careened towards the wings of the bird-jet.  His eyes grew wider and his mouth curled into a smile as he saw the missiles near the wings of the other jet.

In the jet, Dark Kat chuckled as the missiles flew closer and closer.  He pressed a small button on the control board.

“BING…Oh, crud!” Razor yelled as the missiles were destroyed by two small lasers popping out of the wings.

“He’s even got his jet booby trapped.  How we going to take him, Sureshot?”

Razor studied the weapons panel before him.  “Baby Boomer missiles, away!”  He again watched as his well-placed missiles came closer and closer to the intended target, this time the body of the jet, only to be destroyed by an on-board laser.

“Shit, bud, what now?” T-Bone asked.

“Plain old missile, deployed!”  Those too, were destroyed.

A small bead of perspiration trickled down the mask of Razor as he locked on with another missile.

“I know!  Grappling hooks … ” Razor muttered, concentration on the visual on the weapons panel before him.  He shifted the target on the screen on top of the likeness of Dark Kat’s jet.  His right hand throbbed, and he felt the pain ease its way up his arm.  He gripped the joystick tighter, gritting his teeth to ignore the pain.  ” … locked,” he said.  “DEPLOYED!”  He watched as the hooks flew out from underneath the Turbokat, latching on the wings of the Vulture. “BINGO!”

“Backward engines, full throttle!” T-Bone yelled.

There was a lurch in the Vulture as Dark Kat fell on top of the controls.  He felt the Turbokat’s engines pull him away from the city.  He clawed the Creeplings off the control panel and threw them across the length of the jet.  “Hmm,” Dark Kat said, surveying the damage through cameras situated on the rear of his plane.  “Clever. Very clever, SWAT Kat.  Effective, too.  At least for now.” He strapped himself into his enormous seat as he opened the main hatch. The Creeplings, having nothing to hang on to, were forced outside the plane as the cabin depressurized.  “Get those hooks off the Vulture, Creeplings!  NOW!” he ordered.

Outside the jet, it took some skill and a lot of luck for the Creeplings to miss the intakes and reach the tail of the jet.  T-Bone and Razor could only watch as the Creepling gnawed their way through the wires holding the grappling to the jet.

“The little fuckers,” T-Bone said.

“I don’t have any grapplings left, T-Bone.  We are too close to the city to use explosive ones,” Razor said, glancing down at the urban dwellings below.

“Disengage grapplings, Razor.  We are going to have to try your idea to get Dark Crud.”

“Disengaging grapplings,” Razor muttered, a hint of defeat sneaking into his voice.  His ears lowered.

The Vulture lunged forward as the grappling hooks were disengaged from the Turbokat.  With the thrusters open fully, the Creeplings were ripped off the tail of the vulture.  Many were caught in the afterburner of the jet, and floated down to the ground as blackened, charbroiled bat creatures.  The ones remaining flew back to City Hall.  Dark Kat cackled as he flew through the city, eventually landing on the roof of City Hall.  The Creeplings he had remaining had frightened off the Enforcers, letting Dark Kat land unmolested. “Any moment, now,” Dark Kat foretold, “That SWAT Kat will come save his precious Deputy Mayor.  Then we will see who will put a stop to crime in this city.”

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The Turbokat had landed on the outskirts the city, and had rendezvoused with Lieutenant Feral.  “Let’s go, Lieutenant, you ready?” Razor called to Felina from driver’s seat of the tandem cyclotron.  She sat in the passenger’s seat.    “All set.” Felina said, strapping Razor’s extra helmet on to her head.  Her deep brown eyes glinted in the sunlight, and for a split second, T-Bone could see the determination and strength in her family shining in those eyes.  Razor adjusted the Tandem Cyclotron to fit his smaller form, as opposed to T-Bone’s larger.  As he lowered the steering column, he saw the late afternoon sun silhouette T-Bone as he walked up to him.

“Radio contact, all times,”  the sun glinted through the netting in T-Bone’s mask, and reflected concerned eyes.  He stood to the side of the cyclotron and faced Razor.

“Yeah, okay,”

“Watch that paw of yours.”

“I know, T-Bone, I know.”

“Keep me informed at all times of your position and progress.”

“Yes, mommy.”    “Okay, smart ass, just watch your tail.”    “Fine, fine, you know I will.” Razor waved off his friend’s concern with a paw, and revved the cyclotron.   The tires spun, then grabbed hold, and Razor and Felina spun off.  T-Bone waved weakly at his friend, then a felt a pit open in the bottom of his stomach.  It was a feeling that he had never had before.  As his friend disappeared down the street, T-Bone wished he hadn’t gone, and had left the mayor and deputy mayor to Dark Kat.  He shook his head, trying to shake off the feeling.  He knew it was a terrible thing to say.  As he walked back to the Turbokat, he wiped a bead of sweat off his cheek.  Though he silently berated himself for the feeling, he couldn’t rid himself of it.  The dust kicked up from down the street and blew into his face.  Many times his partner had tried something like this, and every time T-Bone was worried, but not like this.  As he jumped up on the wing, and took his position in the pilot’s seat, he realized something wasn’t settling right.  Dark Kat’s sudden appearance, not demanding anything, not shaking around his hostages. It wasn’t like Dark Kat to just up and leave an air fight, either. Something was up.  He was planning something.  T-Bone’s eyes grew wide, and one eyebrow furrowed.  T-Bone wasn’t worried.  He was scared. T-Bone was terrified.

*********************************************************************

*****

Razor and Felina sped along the streets of Megakat City, ignoring amazed pedestrians and cars that scurried to get out of their way. Razor looked up momentarily as he saw the Turbokat fly overhead, its pilot giving a wing-tilting salute as it passed them.  Razor waved.

“Why didya want to come with, Lieutenant?” Razor asked through their communications link.

“I’m an Enforcer.  It’s my job to protect the mayor and deputy mayor.  I don’t see a better way, do you?” Felina answered in the hard Feral enforcer voice Razor was so used to hearing.

“You have a point,” Razor admitted, shrugging.

“That,” Felina continued, her voice audibly softening a little, “and I figured you could use the help.”

Razor smiled slightly.  “Always.”

Felina shifted slightly, uncomfortable in Razor’s spare helmet. “Y’know, Razor,” she commented, changing the subject, “you have a really small head.”

“That’s not what all the girls say,” he joked under his breath.

“What was that?”

“Hmm?  Oh, nothing.  I just said that T-Bone’s would have been really big, and would have fallen off had you needed it.”    “Oh.  Okay.  So what is the plan?” Felina asked, glancing around at the building speeding by her.  She gripped onto the handle bars a little tighter as she realized how fast she was actually going and how close to the ground she actually was.

“The easiest way to get into old buildings like City Hall is to go through the sewer system.  There isn’t much security down there, and you can get in and out rather easily.”

“Oh really?  Where did you learn that trick?”

“An anthropomorphic turtle friend of mine from another dimension.”

“Pardon?”

“Never mind.  Really long story.  Okay, Lieutenant, here is our stop,” Razor said, as he slowed the Cyclotron to a stop. He walked over to a nearby sewer grate, and, with Felina’s help, lifted off. Before descending into the sewer, he pressed a button on his Glovatrix, and watched as the Cyclotron armored itself and became motionless.  He waved to two amazed preteen girls, who giggled.  He met Felina in the sewer, and dragging the sewer grate back in place, consulted his glovatrix for directions.  “Okay, we go,” Razor speculated, pointing his finger East, “this way.  We go two blocks East, then a block North, as we will be right under City Hall.”

Felina shrugged.  “If you say so.”

Razor and Felina trudged through the muck of the sewer, trying to evade everything that moved, until they came upon the entrance of City Hall.  Felina lifter Razor up on her paws, and he took a look around.  “One Creepling guarding the door inside, I don’t see any others,” he whispered down to her.  “You take a look.”

It was her turn to be boosted up, as Razor made a step with his paws.  Felina looked in through the dirty grate into the scarcely lighted room.  “I don’t see the Creepling at the door, Razor,” looking up through the grate.  She was about to get down, when she heard some slight scurrying from above.  She motioned for Razor, who was still holding her up, to remain quiet.  Felina listened again, placing her black-tipped ear right up against the grate.  She quietly got down.

“I count two or three right out of our eyesight.  I could hear them walking around up there.”

“Where up there?”

“At least one to our right, one to the back of us, with the door to our front.  Four in there total.”

“Gotcha,” Razor breathed.  “Okay, on three,” he said, grabbing the grate in both paws.  “One … ”

Felina did the same.  “Two … ” she whispered.

“THREE!!” they both yelled at the same time as the grate flew into the room.  They popped out of the opening.

“Mini octopus missiles, away!” Razor yelled as two Creeplings flew to intercept him.  “Bingo!”

Felina had taken out the other two with her own weapon.  “That was almost too easy.”

“Yeah, I know.  Dark Kat must’ve known about this little entrance.  He may be scum, but he isn’t stupid.”  Razor hit the triangle on his helmet.  “Razor to T-Bone.  You there, bud?”

“Yeah, I’m here.” Razor could here the engines of the Turbokat in the background.  “What is your situation?”

“We have breached the building.  Right now we are in the basement.  We took the sewer entrance.  How about you?”

“Took the Raphael entrance, huh?  Doing okay here, I guess.” T-Bone gave an audible grunt as he let a missile fly towards a Creepling.  “Damn, Sureshot, there are Creeplings everywhere.  I gotta get back to them.  Update every ten minutes.  T-Bone out.”

Razor turned his communicator off, and watched as Felina pressed her ear up against the door.  “I don’t hear any outside,” Felina muttered.

“Taking the halls is too obvious.  I don’t want Dark Kat to know we are here until it is too late.”

“So what do we do?”  Felina was answered only by Razor pointing towards a ventilation shaft above the door.

“Ugh, first the sewers, now a ventilation shaft?”

“C’mon, Lieutenant, give me boost, would ya please?”

“Fine for you, but you don’t have to pay for dry cleaning,” Felina said, offering her laced hands as a step.

“What can I say, Lieutenant?”  Razor said as he unscrewed the grate and lowered it quietly to the floor.  Felina raised him up and he started to climb in.  “I’m a cheap date.”

*********************************************************************

*****

“Crud, these things are everywhere!” T-Bone shouted.  He was nearly out of ammo for the cement machine guns, and had changed octopus missiles to try to contain the Creeplings massing around the Turbokat.  “I gotta give Razor time,” T-Bone thought to himself. “He’s gotta get Callie and Manx outta there.”  He eyed up a Creepling flying especially close to the Turbokat.  “Matchhead missiles, away!” he screamed.  T-Bone watched as the missiles flew out of the jet and ignited, hitting the purple menace right in the chest.  T-Bone chuckled to himself as the Creepling he had hit was forced into another.  The two went down in a blazing heap, igniting a navy blue Volkswagen Bug in the streets below.  The yellow letters of “SPAM” of the hood of the bug flared briefly before the entire car burst into flame.  The Hormel representative walked out of the neighboring building and shook his fists at the Turbokat.  T-Bone just laughed. “Heh, it was ugly, anyway.”

*********************************************************************

****

Dark Kat glared out of the window at the Turbokat.  He watched as his Creeplings fell one by one to the Turbokat’s weapons.  He snickered as he saw the SPAM bug burst into flame below.  “I might hate those SWAT Kats,” he thought, “but they have good aim.”  He wondered why the Turbokat was still in the air, and not on the ground.  Dark Kat knew they wouldn’t attempt to take the building by force.  They were too many of what they would call “innocent” civilians.  “So why was the Turbokat still in the air?”  Dark Kat wondered.  He expected them to try to infiltrate the building by now. But he saw no sign to lend credence to the thought that one had left the jet.    Dark Kat studied the weaving and dodging black jet.  He could not see the cockpit.  The flying was excellent. The shooting was good. “But,” he thought, lowering his eyebrows and letting his mouth snake into a evil smile, “the shooting isn’t as good as it usually is!”  He laughed for a moment, ignoring the curious looks he was getting from his Creeplings.  “OF COURSE! One in the jet, one in the building,” he yelled triumphantly.  “Now, I need to attack.  Where is that SWAT Kat?”

*********************************************************************

*****

Felina brushed a cobweb from a white patch in her hair.  It was surprisingly dusty in the ventilation shafts, and what Razor didn’t pick up as he crawled ahead of her, she invariably did.  They crept along as silently as possible, the only sound being the soft swoosh of their knees sliding against the metal of the shaft.

“I hope you know where you are going,” Felina sighed.

“Yeah,” Razor whispered.  “We should be where we want to be pretty soon.”

Felina shrugged.  “I hope so.  My knees are killing me,” she said, twisting into a sitting position, and gingerly rubbing her sore and bruised knees.  She glanced around briefly, seeing nothing but cold steel walls, and small passageways connecting here and there. “Where are we anyway?”

“We are on about the fourth floor,” Razor said. He had reached a grate and was beginning to force it off.  “Once we get out of this ventilation shaft,” he said as the grate popped  inward,  “Our climb should be a lot faster.”

Felina turning back into a crawling position, and meeting Razor at the open grate. She looked through he grate, expecting to see an office or something.  Instead, all she saw was another shaft with cords running down the center.  Razor swung himself out onto the ladder in the shaft and started connecting his glovatrix into a circuit box near the ladder.  “Elevator going up,” he said as an elevator rose up the shaft.  He jumped off as Felina slipped through the opening.  Both landed on the top of the elevator.  “Next stop,” Razor said, smiling, “Floor 42, the Office of Mayor Manx.”

“But Razor,” Felina said, “Won’t this alert Dark Kat to our whereabouts?”

“Naw, I doubt it.  In the halls he might have access to cameras, but not in the elevator shaft, or top of elevators.  And he can’t monitor what elevator is going up and what elevator is going down from Manx’s office.  I have overridden his control over this elevator.  It is totally controlled by this baby,” he said a little triumphantly as he patted his Glovatrix.

The elevator car rose up quickly through the floors, until Felina realized Razor made no move to stop the elevator as it neared the top of the shaft.  “Uh, Razor?  Don’t you think it is time to stop?”

Razor looked up at the ceiling of the shaft, and shook his head. “Nope, not yet.  But Lieutenant,”

“Yeah?”

“I would advise you to lay as flat as possible.”

“You do know what you are doing, right?” Felina asked laying down.

“Yep,” Razor replied, laying down himself.  The elevator slowed consistently as they came closer and closer to the top.  “Floor 35, Floor 36,” Razor counted down.

“Are you sure you know what you are doing?”    “Trust me.  Floor 38.”

“What happened to 37??”

“You missed it when you were talking.  Floor 40.  Floor 41,” he whispered as he pressed a button on his glovatrix.  The car shuddered to a sickening halt.  Felina unclenched her teeth and looked towards the front of the car.  The top of the door of the car was slightly below, by three or four inches, than the top of the doorway on Floor 42.  The end of the elevator shaft was a foot above her.  She looked over to a prone Razor, who smiled.  “I told you I knew what I was doing.”  Razor pressed another button on his glovatrix, and the doors to the elevator opened.  As Razor and Felina peered out from the top of the car, the Creeplings waiting at the door jumped into the empty elevator car.  Razor quickly closed the doors by remote control, and moved the car down.  It stopped right in between Floors 41 and 42, allowing Razor and Felina to simply walk off the top  of the elevator onto Floor 42.

Felina put her hands on her hips as she stepped onto Floor 42 and laughed, amazed.

“Awesome,” she chuckled, “simply awesome.”

“It’s all in the timing, Lieutenant,” he said, walking up next to her.  The Creeplings squawked in the elevator car.

“What now?”  Felina asked.

“Now, we find Ms. Briggs and Manx, and get the hell outta here. I gotta funny feeling about this place.”

*********************************************************************

*****

Dark Kat peered at the monitors at the security station outside of Manx’s office.  One by one he checked through every camera in the building.  He scowled when he saw no sign of Razor anywhere in the building.  “WHERE DID HE GO!?” he screamed, startling the few Creeplings sitting by him.  They jumped, and proceeded to run into each other.  Dark Kat shook his head and rolled his eyes. “CREEPLINGS!” he boomed, not in the mood to deal with the bat-like menaces, “Go join your companions at the elevator.  Bother them for a while.”  He dismissed them with a wave of his hand, and went back to his searchings.

“I don’t think that will be possible, Dark Crud,” a voice said behind him.  “We already took care of them.”

“Just like we will take care of you,” said a more feminine voice.

Dark Kat spun around, surprised.  He came face to face with the armed and aimed glovatrix of Razor, and the weapon of Felina.  “You made it through the building.  And it looks like you brought a little friend with you too.  How delightful for both of you.”  Razor didn’t respond, but only nodded his head in the direction of the office. Felina lowered her gun, and went over to the side of the door. In one motion, she kicked the door in and shot down the few Creeplings remaining in the office.

Felina walked over to the prone bodies of Briggs and Manx, as well as the body of Manx’s secretary.  She didn’t bother to check the secretary for a pulse.  The jagged dark cut along his throat showed her that she didn’t need to.  She carefully walked over to Manx.  She looked over him quickly.  “Hmm, no external injuries,” she thought as she checked his pulse.  “Pulse is okay.”  She rolled  her eyes.  “He probably passed out … again.”  She walked over to Callie and saw the huge gash running across her head.  She frowned, and nervously checked for a pulse.  Relieved when she found one, she called back to Razor.  “I found Manx, Briggs, and Manx’s secretary.  The secretary’s dead, but Manx and Briggs are alive.  Briggs has a nasty cut on her head, and I want to get her to a hospital immediately.”

“Roger, Lieutenant,” Razor called back, still keeping his eyes on Dark Kat.  “What did you do to her?” he demanded.

“Me?” Dark Kat called innocently.  “Really, SWAT Rat, I thought you would have known better.  Had I wanted to harm Ms. Briggs, I would have killed her.  It was my Creeplings’ … play that injured her.”

“Razor!  Manx is coming to, but he still needs some help.  I can handle Manx, but you might need to handle Briggs.”

“Roger, Lieutenant,” Razor forced out, glaring at the grinning Dark Kat.

“Seems like you have a conundrum, Razor,” Dark Kat pointed out, sarcastic empathy dripping from his voice.  “Get the bad guy or save the mayor.  Which one will it be?”

Razor scowled at him, and then gave a smirk of his own.  “Very simple, Dark Shit,” he said.  He winced as he flexed his wrist slightly, sending pain stabbing up his arm.  A mini bola missile flew out of his glovatrix.  “Both.  First Manx, then I come back for you.” Razor pressed a button on the security counsel, and then jogged into Manx’s office as Dark Kat was thrown against the wall by the force of the missile.  The bola wrapped around Dark Kat’s waist and chest.  He struggled to get free, but that only resulted in him being more and more tied up by the bola ropes.  As Razor ran back out of Manx’s office, with the half-conscious mayor leaning heavily on him for support, Dark Kat struggled against his entrapment.  But as Razor ran off, Dark Kat’s look of disgust turned into a wide grin.

“That’s it, run, SWAT Kat.  Think you are out of my trap.  Think you are the hero once again.  Go ahead.  Pride makes one blind to traps ahead.  You are not out of my clutches into you are out of this building.  And that won’t be happening any time soon.”  His grin grew even wider as his eyes narrowed and his eyebrows lowered.  He reached into his pocket, and took out a small metallic box with an antenna and button on it.  He carefully raised the antenna and pressed the button, triggering the device to put out a high pitched squeal out of a kat’s hearing range.  He cackled as he heard his creepling’s enter the room, responding to the call of the device.

*********************************************************************

*****

Razor and Felina ran down the now-empty stairs of City Hall. Razor hit the red triangle on his helmet, activating the comlink between he and T-Bone.  “T-Bone, this is Razor, come in.”

T-Bone, trying desperately to take care of the purple menaces flying around him, answered.  “Yeah, I’m here Razor.  How’s it going?”

“We got the mayor and deputy mayor,” Razor informed, glancing over at the drowsy mayor Felina was supporting and the deputy mayor he had slung over his shoulder.  “We are on our way out now.”

“What about Dark Kat?”

“I have him tied up in a bola missile, but he won’t stay there for long.”

Razor heard T-Bone gasp on the other side of the connection. “What the hell … ”

“T-Bone?  What’s up?”

“It’s the Creeplings.  They just sort of broke off attack.” T-Bone shrugged.  “Weird.”

“That means Dark Kat is going to be free pretty soon.” Felina interjected.

“She’s right, T-Bone.  The other citizens in the building have been freed.  Before we got out of the office, I hit the ‘all-doors release’ button on the security counsel.”

“So I noticed,” T-Bone commented as kats began flooding out of the doorway from City Hall.

“This is too weird, T-Bone.” Razor said, jogging down another flight of stairs, breathing heavily.  Running down 42 flights of stairs is bad enough, but doing so with a deputy mayor over his shoulder …

T-Bone furrowed his eyebrows.  “What do you mean?” he asked as he landed the jet in the middle of the street outside the building.

“It was almost like it was too easy.  Dark Crud didn’t even give a decent fight.  He just sneered a little, but didn’t try to fight or anything.”

“Maybe he has finally realized that we will beat him every time, and there is no point to fighting it,” T-Bone joked, flashing his wide grin.

“I don’t think so, T-Bone.”  T-Bone’s smile disappeared as he heard the grave voice of his partner.  “It was almost like … ” T-Bone heard strong cusses and screeching in the back ground.

“Razor?”

“Gotta go, T-Bone, Creeplings found us.  Razor out,” Razor hurriedly said.

T-Bone listened to the garbled static ringing in his ears.  The pit in his stomach returned as Razor’s words rang in his ear.  “‘It was almost like …’ what Sureshot?  It was almost like what? ” T-Bone repeated, frustrated.  “T-Bone tried to reassure himself, but he couldn’t shake the feeling that he should be in there helping out Razor.  One question kept on pounding in his head.  “It was almost like what?”

*********************************************************************

*****

“What the?” the suddenly wide-awake Mayor Manx blurted out. “Creeplings?  Callie!” he screamed.  When he saw Callie unconscious on Razor’s shoulder.  He didn’t have time to register what was going on before he felt himself being pushed towards more stairs.

Razor took Callie off his shoulder and nearly threw her to Felina.  “You get the mayor and Ms. Briggs outta here!” he ordered, turning to face the Creeplings attacking from the upper landing.  He jumped into a defensive stance and pointed his glovatrix at the advancing Creeplings.

“But what about you?” Felina protested, half jogging down the stairs.

“I’ll cover you.  Get Manx and Callie outta here!!” he barked, not bothering to turn to face Felina.

“But Razor … ” a creepling flew over the banister towards Felina, Callie, and Manx.  Felina pulled out her gun and shot it down.

“GO!” Razor screamed, facing her.   His eyes glinted in the setting sun from shining through the window in the stairwell.  His chestnut orbs locked with hers. He wasn’t ordering her, he was asking her. She saw it in his eyes.  They had a wisdom behind them, well more than his age could have known. He was passionately pleading with her to leave, and asking her something else, something more important.  He was asking her to tell someone something.  In a split second she understood, and her eyes widened in surprise and disbelief.  He smiled weakly and nodded, seeing that she knew what he was trying to say.  He knew it would be impossible to get out of this situation by himself. Felina adjusted the still unconscious Callie on her shoulder, then dragged the much more awake Manx down the remaining stairs.

Razor spun around the face the remaining hoard of Creeplings. “Where did they all come from?” he asked himself as they attacked. His mini cement machine guns, though effective, could not withstand the onslaught of dozens of Creeplings. He couldn’t risk explosive missiles, the stairway might collapse on him.  The bola missiles, spider missiles, and spider chain missiles eventually were exhausted. He had resorted to hand to wing combat.  One particular brave one, or stupid, Razor couldn’t figure out which, leapt at him.  Razor flipped and knocked it out with a swift side kick to the jaw.  Heavily favoring his right paw, he down – blocked another’s punch, and grabbed its arm, tossing it into another one behind him. Several creeplings jumped on him as he punched at another trying to claw at his face.  He rolled onto his back, allowing his palms to land next to his head.  In one, swift motion, he rolled onto this arms, and kicked out.  He landed on his feet, and he felt a crunch of the creepling now underneath his feet.  He wiped the some blood away from his eye from a cut one of the creeplings had opened.  He deployed his shield and fended off several others who tried to attack him. Suddenly, the creeplings stilled as Dark Kat appeared on the landing above.  Razor looked up from the defensive stance his body was in. His hand wound had reopened, and he wiped the blood hastily away.

“What do you want, Dark Shit?” Razor’s eyes narrowed and a red haze broiled from somewhere deep within his brain.  His voice was barely perceptible through the low growl forming in his chest.

“Very simple, SWAMP Bat.  It was never Briggs or Manx that I wanted.  Just you.”

“Getting lonely?” Razor quipped through a scowl.

Dark Kat ignored him.  “You will not like what I have in store for you.”

“Don’t bet on it!” Razor screamed, flexing his wrist slightly, sending another poker through the veins of his arms.  His hand throbbed.  “Mini Baby Boomer missile … away!” Dark Kat dodged, but the wall behind him, however, wasn’t as lucky.  The missile collided with the wall, and the gun powder exploded, sending chunks and dust flying everywhere.  It took a few moments for the dust settled and it was silent for a short time.  Suddenly the deep cackling of Dark Kat filled the stairwell.  His monstrous form slowly descended the staircase.  His laughing echoed against the bare walls.  Razor backed up slightly, his glovatrix still aimed and ready to fire.  His tail swished madly behind him.  They both scowled.

“I wouldn’t bother with that piddly thing,” Dark Kat laughed, indicating Razor’s glovatrix with a wave of his hand.  “You wouldn’t risk another explosion … it might bring the entire building down on you.  But you seem to be out of everything else, a result of the battle with my Creeplings.”  He smirked triumphantly, knowing there was nothing Razor could do.  Dark Kat’s tail swished underneath his cloak, mocking Razor.  “What are you going to do now, Flyboy?” he teased.

Razor narrowed his eyes.  There was only one thing left to do. In one fluid motion, he lowered himself to the ground, bared his claws, and leapt onto Dark Kat.  Dark Kat had been expecting it, and cackled as he grabbed Razor around the throat in mid air, cutting off his air supply.  The sudden stop had knocked his helmet off.  Razor’s face was like stone even though his lungs began to burn from lack of oxygen.  He wrapped his paws around Dark Kat’s arm in a futile attempt to make him release the vice.  He could only scowl as Dark Kat threw him against the wall, slamming his hand into the wall.  He let out a pained cry that was cut off suddenly as his head followed into the wall with a loud “crack.”  Blood streaked on the wall from a gash in his head.  Razor slid down the wall, unconscious.  The gash in his head bled profusely underneath his mask and it streamed readily down his temples.  The creeplings gathered him up in their own net, and began to drag him up to the roof.  Dark Kat cackled a low triumphant laugh.  He had the one he wanted.  He could start the next phase.

*********************************************************************

*****

T-Bone watched the front anxiously.  He had been out of radio contact with Razor for thirty minutes now, and he was very worried. No, he was scared.  Dark Kat’s jet had not yet taken off from the top of the building, which meant he was still in there. With Razor.   His tail swished nervously behind him as he stood on the steps to City Hall.  His brow furrowed slightly, but his chin and jaw were set in a cold, hard line.  His eyes stared at the door to city hall. T-Bone chastised himself for playing the mother hen.  “Razor is perfectly fine,” he reassured himself for the 42nd time in two minutes.  “He can handle those creeplings just as well as I can.”  And each time he thought he convinced himself of that, another idea as to what happened to him crept into his head.  And his gut feeling when he saw Razor ride away with Felina returned.  And then he convinced himself that he worried to much, and that he was fine and playing a joke on him or something.

But reassurances gave way when his heart dropped into his feet, and he saw Felina charge out of City Hall, dragging the Mayor and carrying the half-conscious Deputy Mayor.  T-Bone ran towards Felina. “Get the mayor and deputy mayor a hospital, now!” T-Bone heard her order.

“Lieutenant!” T-Bone gasped, “Where’s Razor??”  He stared frantically from Felina back to the doorway back to Felina.

Felina was doubled over, her hands on her knees for support. “He’s … still … inside,” she gasped, “he said … he would … cover us.”

T-Bone grabbed her shoulders and straightened her up to face him. “But where is he??” he demanded.  Felina could only shrug.  T-Bone heard the roar of jet engines above him, and stared up into the sky as Dark Kat’s jet took off.  He let go of Felina and ran towards the front doors of city hall.

Commander Feral stepped in front of him.  T-Bone ran into him. “Get out of my way, Feral,” T-Bone ordered, “Before I do something I know you will regret.”  T-Bone pushed him out of the way.

“I do not take threats from lowlife … ”

“Clam it, Uncle.  His partner is still in there.” Felina ran in after T-Bone.  She felt a responsibility.

Inside the stairway, T-Bone was taking the steps by twos.  “Where were you last?” he asked Felina.

“Fifteenth floor.”  Felina watched as T-Bone reached higher and higher speeds bounding up the steps.  She followed as closely as possible.  She watched as the numbers sped by.  “Ten, eleven, twelve,” she counted out loud, “thirteen, fourteen,” she paused when she saw the crumbled rocks that had fallen down the steps. But it was silent.  There were no sirens outside, no left over dust or dirt falling from the blown-out wall.  There were no voices down in the lobby of Enforcers trying to find out what happened.  Only silence, and the reverberating echo of her boots on concrete steps.  T-Bone was standing at the landing for the fourteenth floor, debris all around him.  His tail was limp behind him, no cocky swishing anymore. He was staring at something on the ground.  Felina came up next to him.  He slowly bent down a picked up the damaged helmet.  His paw passed quickly over the large dent in one side of the helmet.  His eyes searched the helmet, his brows crumpled into a confused “V”. His usual toothy grin was gone, and his jaw was clenched, his mouth was set in deep frown.  He squatted down to the ground and picked up the nearly destroyed glovatrix.  As he lifted off the ground to inspect it further, a stream of blood poured out, landing in a small pool on the ground.  She felt her stomach sink.  She saw T-Bone look up, and something passed over his face.  She couldn’t quite place it. Anger, despair, worry, guilt, hopelessness, grief, fear.  It quickly faded, and the stone cold frown and clenched jaw returned.  She followed T-Bone’s gaze and saw the streaks of blood dripping down the walls.   It slid slowly down the walls and coagulated on the floor. She felt ill.  T-Bone said nothing.  She put a paw on his shoulder, but he refused it, shaking it off.    Felina turned, sensing he wanted to be alone, and slowly walked back down the steps, her boots clicking on the concrete.  “Fourteen … thirteen … twelve … eleven … ten … ” she counted softly to herself, worried about both Razor and T-Bone.   “Nine … eight …” It was on the seventh floor that a cry woke her out of her stupor.  It was T-Bone, screaming.

“I DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU ARE, DARK KAT BUT YOU WILL PAY!  SO HELP ME, YOU WILL PAY!”

Felina bowed her head and continued to walk down the stairs. “Six … five … four … three … two … one.”

*********************************************************************

**

Okay, that’s it for today, but keep checking DJ’s page for updates, and don’t forget to email me! Penguinchk@aol.com

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